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A Look Back At Some of Our Past Celebration of Nurses Nominees: Inspiration

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Dr. Rachel Thomas
Professor, Ph-D, ARNP-BC for Dept of Health

Dr. Thomas is a professor for FSCJ BSN Program, a mother, a wife, a dog lover, a ARNP for Dept Health, healer for others, and truly an inspiration as a leader to assisting nurses to become professionals. Dr. Thomas provided excellent guidance throughout the BSN program at FSCJ while opening the students eyes & ears to furthering their nursing careers. While she does not claim to be an expert as a manager, she is an excellent mentor for all nurses. She works hard in out Northwest Jacksonville community to promoting healthy lifestyles. I truly inspire to one day grow up and become as great of a mentor, mother, healer, leader and teacher as she has been to me.

Polly Hensley
Assistant Director of Nursing

Polly functions in a nursing supervisor (Assistant Director of Nursing/ADON) role at Baptist Medical Center South. She definitely functions day in and day out in the trenches through her support to the entire hospital on day, nights and weekends. She has a “can do” attitude about every challenge and obstacle that develop. Often Polly is trying to fill in staffing needs, balance the schedule and place staff and patients into the most appropriate and safest locations, all while answering the phone and triaging multiple issues at the same time. She is a Magnet Champion and always the first person to encourage fellow nurses to participate in Shared Governance and to share their ideas and suggestions. She inspires everyone she contacts to be a better co-worker and team member. This year Polly established a RN mentorship program for newly hired RN’s. The goal is RN retention and relationship development. Polly decorates bulletin boards and offices for each holiday and event.

Go Outside and Play

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There are many places around the First Coast to enjoy nature with kids. Here is a list of some of our favorite spots to go outside and play!

Tree Hill Nature Center: 7152 Lone Star Road, Jacksonville FL 32211 / 904.724.4646
Open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, this nature center has a wonderful native animal exhibit, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, and a Florida natural History Museum. You can take a hike on its 50 acres of trails, right in the heart of Arlington. For more info visit

Kathyrn Abbey Hannah Park: Wonderwood Dr., Jacksonville / 904.249.4700
Open Monday through Sunday, this city park has everything from little cabins you can rent, to over 20 miles of bike and hiking trails, to a freshwater lake with kayak rentals. There is of course the pristine beach to explore as well. For more info visit

Guyana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
This nature reserve houses 2 aquatic preserves, 1 national park, 2 state parks, 2 state forests, and 3 conservation areas. Needless to say, you can get lost in this gorgeous wilderness. There is an education center to tour before setting out on your own adventure. Visit for more info.

3 Recipes for the Perfect Summer Fruit: Watermelon

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Watermelon Savory Stars
What you need:
1 Whole Watermelon
Star Cookie Cutters
Salt and Pepper
This may sound crazy, but all melons taste delicious with salt and pepper. This recipe is very simple, and delicious.
1. Slice your whole watermelon into large 1 to 2 inch slabs.
2. Using the star cookie cutter, cut watermelon stars out.
3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy.

Watermelon Salad
1 5-pound watermelon
¼ cup of red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of fresh mint
4 ounces of feta cheese
Cut the watermelon into bite size cubes, removing seeds.
In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, salt, pepper, and whisk until salt is dissolved. While whisking add the olive oil a few drops at a time. Add the mint, and salt and pepper to taste.
Combine the watermelon and melon in bowl, then toss with dressing and serve.

Grilled Watermelon
Juice of 2 limes
3 tablespoons of honey
2 teaspoons of water
Preheat grill to high. Cut watermelon into large 1 inch thick slices. Brush with honey lightly. Place on grill. Grill 2 minutes per side.
Mix water, honey and lime into a syrup.
Drizzle grilled melon with syrup. Salt to taste.

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