• Tobacco-Free Jacksonville is the community partnership of adults and youth working together to prevent youth tobacco use and youth exposure to second-hand smoke whereby youth conceive and carry out tobacco prevention. The purpose of the Tobacco-Free Jacksonville Coalition, Inc. is to promote a tobacco-free atmosphere for Duval County residents, to improve the health of Duval County residents and all Floridians though:

    • Significantly reducing tobacco use through prevention, education, cessation and policy promotion.
    • Decreasing environmental tobacco smoke through education and policy promotion.

    Tobacco-Free Jacksonville Coalition is a resource for public education on the health effects of tobacco and smoking prevention. Tobacco-Free Jacksonville Coalition supports legislative actions against tobacco.

  • MEMBERS

    Meet our leadership. Want to become a member?

    Our current board members are serving a two-year term, 2019 - 2021.

    Chair: Beth Jensen

    Beth Jensen has been a member of Tobacco-Free Jacksonville since 2013. During her time at American Lung Association in Florida, she helped launch LUNG FORCE, an initiative to raise awareness that lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer in men and women. Locally, she organized Friendship Fountain turning turquoise for Turquoise Takeover to raise awareness of LUNG FORCE. In 2014, she helped advocate against House Bill 169 which took away local control y of tobacco and e-cigarette product placement. Currently, she works for Pine Castle as the Associate Director of Development.

    Contact Beth: chair@tobaccofreejacksonville.com

    Vice-Chair:

    Ann Gipalo

    Ann Gipalo is currently serving a second term as Vice-Chair of TFCJ, and has been a Coalition member for more than 5 years, representing Duval County Council PTA. All 3 of her children graduated from or are attending Duval County Public Schools. She currently serves as Health & Safety Chair of the Duval County Council PTA and has been a PTA volunteer at the school and county level for 13 years.

    Board Member: Kim St. Clair Seals

    Kim graduated for Trumbull Memorial Hospital School of Nursing with a diploma in nursing. She received her BSN at SUNY New Paltz, her MSN at the University of Pennsylvania and her APRN at South University. She has worked in the area of cardiovascular health for 35 years, which includes PCU, IU, CCU, cardiothoracic ICU, and Assistant Director of cardiac services. She has also worked in home health care and hospice. She became Ms. Senior Jacksonville in 2018 and has the platform of Women and Heart Disease where she advocates for increasing awareness of heart disease for women (and men) in Jacksonville. Smoking cessation/prevention is a key part of her passion.

    Board Member:

    Sally Finn

    Sally graduated from Michigan State University with a BS in Merchandising Management. She has worked in the area of prevention since 2009 and is currently the Executive Director for Drug Free Duval. Sally is dedicated to engaging community partners and stakeholders to support the prevention efforts both locally and regionally. She has been extensively trained in the Strategic Prevention Framework and uses this process to bring the community together to develop comprehensive solutions to identified substance abuse problems. These problems are then addressed with strategies that are proven effective in promoting population level change. Sally would like to thank all of our collaborative partners both new and long term who continue to make Duval County a healthier and safer place for all of us to live.

    Board Member:

    Dr. Teri Chenot

    Dr. Teri Chenot is an Associate Professor at the Keigwin School of Nursing at Jacksonville University. She serves as the Co-Director of the QSEN Institute Regional Center at Jacksonville University. She received her ASN degree from Broward State College. She received her BHS and BSN degrees from Florida Atlantic University. Her graduate education includes an MSN from Florida Atlantic University, an M.Ed. from the University of North Florida (UNF), and an MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Thomas University. She received her Ed.D. In Educational Leadership with a cognate in Adult Learning and Patient Safety from UNF. Her three primary areas of research interest include patient safety, quality, and health outcomes.

    Dr. Chenot’s clinical nursing background is in women’s, children’s, and community health. She has several years of experience as a health educator, epidemiology nurse, and as a nursing program specialist for a CDC federal grant for a Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. She is always interested in community collaboration to improve health outcomes.

    Board Member:

    Harry Reagan

    Harry Reagan has been a member of Tobacco-Free Jacksonville for more than 30 years. At WJXT (TV-4), he did numerous editorials on the subject. As an at-large member of the Jacksonville City Council, he introduced a local ordinance on possession of tobacco by young people. And he has always been involved with Tobacco-Free Jacksonville (previously known as the Duval County Coalition Against Tobacco).

    Board Member:

    Dr. Brian Seymour

    Dr. Seymour is the Research Director of the Center for the Prevention of Health Disparities at Edward Waters College (EWC). His pioneering work on the effects of second-hand smoke on allergic asthma was partly instrumental on legislation that ban smoking in public places in the state of California. Dr. Seymour is currently pursuing public health research opportunities in the local community. His goal is to inform and support the policy making process that can ultimately eliminate the health disparity that exists in urban communities such as Health Zone 1 where EWC is located.

    Board Member:

    Dustin Arceneaux

    After receiving his Master’s degree from University of Florida in 2013, Dustin Arceneaux began his career in health education in North Florida. He has been a certified health education specialist (CHES) since 2014 credentialed by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC). He has worked for organizations such as Planned Parenthood of South East and North Florida as well as the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition directing health education and direct health service programming for youth and adults. For his regular education on self-esteem at Interface Youth Program in Gainesville, FL, Planned Parenthood of Southeast & North Florida was awarded the Community Partnership Award by CDS Family & Behavioral Health Services.

    As a former smoker, his motivation to serve on the Board of Tobacco Free Jacksonville comes from his desire to empower youth and adults to have the realization that their lives are valuable despite whatever hardships they have had to endure whether it be peer pressure, harassment, bullying, bigotry, domestic violence, mental health challenges, or poverty. By promoting smoking prevention and cessation in Northeast Florida through Tobacco Free Jacksonville Coalition, he hopes to empower youth and adults to lead long and healthy lives.

     

    Board Member 9:

    Dr. Megan Bewernitz

    Dr. Megan (Witte) Bewernitz has been a licensed occupational therapist since 2002 and has worked in various settings including inpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing facilities, the public school system, home health, and academia. She received her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Florida in 2008 and received a pre-doctoral training fellowship through the National Institute on Aging. She continued her scholarly endeavors as a Post-doctoral fellow with the Advanced Post-Professional Program in Clinical Investigation. In addition to her diverse clinical experience, Dr. Bewernitz currently is a faculty member in Jacksonville University’s Doctor of Occupational Therapy program. The majority of Dr. Bewernitz’ research, teaching, and clinical experience has focused on working with the geriatric population and community health, wellness, and participation initiatives.

     

    Program Manager:

    April Seliga

    April Seliga began her journey at the University of South Florida, where she received her BSc in Environmental Science and Policy in 2004. April then went on to graduate school to receive her M.P.H in the concentration of Epidemiology at the University of Florida in 2006. After graduation, April worked in the field as an Infectious Disease Epidemiologist, Chronic Disease Epidemiologist and Health Education. Through April’s various roles in public health, she has always worked in tobacco prevention in some way, but truly began her passion within it in 2009 while educating on the negative impact of tobacco and nicotine with youth. From there April then went on to work with Tobacco Free Parks, Smoke Free Multiunit Housing, Tobacco Free Worksite Wellness and Tobacco Free Campuses.

    Youth Coordinator:

    Julie Collins

    Julie Collins has been with Tobacco-Free Jacksonville since 2015, managing the Student's Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) program. Julie is a graduate of the University of Florida, with her B.S. in Health Education. Julie strives to create the next tobacco-free generation by educating and empowering Duval County youth to take a stand against big tobacco companies.

    AmeriCorps NHC Member:

    Maggie Do Valle

    My name is Maggie, not short for anything, and I am a 22 year old Boston native. I am Brazilian-American and have lived in Brazil for a few years. I love to dance, travel, and karaoke! Some of my passions include women’s and youth rights, as well as health education. I hope to one day become an Epidemiologist and create positive change through health and education across the world!

     

  • CONTACT US

    Tobacco-Free Jacksonville Coalition, Inc.

    6852 Belfort Oaks Pl

    Jacksonville, FL 32216

    (904) 345-0540

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tobaccofreejacksonvilleFL/ 

    Email: info@tobaccofreejacksonville.com

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