The 2018 edition of the First Coast Relocation Guide is here!

Published under exclusive contract with the JAX Chamber of Commerce, this is the only official relocation guide for the First Coast. Packed full of all the information new residents need, the guide is divided into three easy-to-use sections: Live, Work and Play.
From schools and neighborhoods to tax offices and libraries, the comprehensive Live section provides important phone numbers, maps and descriptions.
The Work section is dedicated to the businesses that keep this great area running as well as the roads, bridges and ports that make it all possible. This section also features the area’s Top 50 Employers to familiarize yourself with the major businesses on the First Coast.
Because Floridians know how to play, we have updated and expanded our Play section to include everything from area attractions to a list of Jacksonville’s best food trucks. There is no shortage of fun on the First Coast and the First Coast Relocation Guide is the perfect tool for newcomers and established residents alike to discover what the First Coast has to offer.
Copies are being mailed to all advertisers and distribution will commence next week. You can pick up your copy at area libraries, the JAX Chamber of Commerce, etc. In the meantime, please access our digital flipbook at or

An Exciting Year of Field School and Diving Begins with Promise of Identification of Shipwreck

Twelve students will participate in the prestigious maritime archaeology program which will continue excavation on the Anniversary Wreck off the coast of St. Augustine.

AUGUSTINE, Fla. – From June 26th through July 21st, The St. Augustine Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program will host a field school class of twelve students and six supervisors including one international student from Saudi Arabia and a range of schools across the country:  University of Pennsylvania; Eastern Carolina University; University of Colorado at Boulder.  This field school class will be excavating what hopes to be a promising wreck for many reasons, a positive identification as a merchant ship among them.  Originally found during the 450th anniversary of St. Augustine, the dive site is affectionately named the Anniversary wreck.

“We love having returning students,” said Chuck Meide, Director of Maritime Research for the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. “As archaeologists it’s our favorite time of year to get out there and dive, but also to be doing this important work with students who are so enthusiastic make it that much more rewarding.”

The students will first go through a rigorous week-long training and preparation for diving.  Diving on the shipwreck site begins in the second week.  Before the students arrived for training, Museum Archaeologists prepared the practice pool at Sea Hunt Scuba with an underwater obstacle course.

The team credits previously successful dives to incredible access to an institutional research vessel Roper courtesy of David Howe, a friend of the Museum, and the support of the Institute of Maritime History.  It was in 2015 that archaeologists were able to use the pattern of and amount of objects found to decipher that this wreck was possibly a merchant ship fully loaded with sellable goods, dating between 1750-1800.  The implications of confirming the dates and the type of ship are what really make this shipwreck stand out as one-of-a-kind.  As the premier resource for information on local maritime heritage, the St. Augustine Lighthouse Archaeology Division is able to confirm that this would be the oldest merchant ship found in Northeast Florida.  Additionally, a merchant ship would provide us with the most extensive knowledge to date of what the St. Augustine marketplace was in need of and wanting during the time period of the ship.  Objects in large quantities have already been found on this ship including shoe buckles, pewter plates, cauldrons and barrels indicating a need within the market for these common items but also the potential to find more.

As the lead archaeologist on the team, Meide insists one dive season is never enough to fully research, excavate and answer everything which is why he is excited to be going out for a second season.  When asked what he hopes will come of their work this summer and if he thinks they will be able to confirm the ship as a merchant ship, “we’re at the tip of the iceberg right now,” replies Meide, “but we’re also pretty sure that’s what it is.”

For the curious, the Museum will be updating social media and its blog with stories from the field.  In addition, guests are always welcome to ask about the program when visiting.  During the summer, the Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.


A pivotal navigation tool and unique landmark of St. Augustine for over 140 years, the St. Augustine Light Station is host to centuries of history in the Nation’s Oldest PortSM. Through interactive exhibits, guided tours and maritime research, the 501(c)(3) non-profit St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is on a mission to discover, preserve, present and keep alive the stories of the Nation’s Oldest PortSM as symbolized by our working lighthouse. We are the parent organization to the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. 

Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville receives highest stroke center designation from The Joint Commis..

Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers. The Gold Seal of Approval® and the Heart-Check mark represent symbols of quality from their respective organizations.

The designation is the highest achievable designation for centers providing care to patients suffering aneurysm (ruptured or unruptured), ischemic strokes and all types of intracranial/intracerebral hemorrhages.

With this certification, Baptist Jacksonville joins an elite group of health care facilities focused on highly-specialized stroke care. To be eligible, hospitals must demonstrate compliance with stroke-related standards as a Primary Stroke Center and meet additional requirements, including those related to advanced imaging capabilities, 24/7 availability of specialized treatments, and providing team members with the unique education and competencies to care for complex stroke patients.

Baptist Jacksonville underwent a rigorous onsite review by The Joint Commission experts who evaluated its compliance with stroke-related standards and requirements.

“By achieving this advanced certification, Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville has thoroughly demonstrated the greatest level of commitment to the care of its patients with a complex stroke condition,” says Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, president and CEO, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and The Joint Commission commends Baptist Jacksonville for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate the standard of its care for the community it serves.”

Neurovascular surgeon Ricardo A. Hanel, MD, PhD, director of the Baptist Neurological Institute, describes the advanced certification as a landmark achievement for Baptist Health. “The Joint Commission certification is a national recognition of the quality of work that is performed daily by the stroke team here at Baptist. Our goal is to bring the best stroke care in the country to Jacksonville and our region via excellent patient care, research and education.”

Wendy Camp, director of the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Program at Baptist Health, said meeting the certification and caring for patients requires a coordinated effort of nearly every department in the health system along with its partners, and a dedicated transfer center that arranges for emergent air and ground transportation for patients throughout the southeastern Georgia and northeast Florida region.

During the on-site survey for certification, Camp said the reviewers examined all aspects of patient care, including protocols and procedures surrounding a system-inclusive response to neurological emergencies. This included examining Baptist’s relationships with EMS providers, nursing and physician providers at transferring hospitals, as well as internal processes related to rapid diagnosis and treatment. Nursing practices during the hyper-acute, critical and recovery phases were thoroughly reviewed.  How Baptist cares for patients after admission and after discharge, were also examined, as were rehabilitation services, both in-house and in the community.

Baptist Health is unique in having a team of providers specifically dedicated to treating patients with neurovascular issues, including two neurovascular surgeons and a neurointerventionalist; two neuroendovascular fellows; four neuroendovascular advanced practice providers and clinical support staff.

There are also stroke coordinators and a dedicated team of neurologists. Baptist has a neurocritical care unit to care for patients who experienced a stroke, aneurysm or other cerebrovascular conditions with highly trained neuro critical care physicians, advanced practice providers and nurses..

Baptist has been at the forefront of new treatments for the brain with more than 20 clinical trials, giving patients first-hand access to the latest technology.

All Baptist nurses and team members are trained in stroke symptom recognition and activation of emergency response teams in the event a patient admitted for any reason, in any part of our health system, experiences a neurological emergency.

“Getting comprehensive stroke certification by The Joint Commission validates the efforts of Baptist Health in providing the best care,” said neurosurgeon Eric Sauvageau, MD, director of the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center at Baptist Jacksonville. “We can’t prevent all strokes, but we can make sure the health system and its physicians put all their efforts into offering the best chance of recovery.”

Added Nima Amin Aghaebrahim, MD, an interventional neurologist at Baptist Jacksonville’s Lyerly Neurosurgery: “We’ve entered a new era in the treatment of acute stroke through recent breakthrough advances in this field. To provide the best possible outcome for our patients, different specialties need to work together to deliver fast, effective and comprehensive care.

“This nationally recognized certification demonstrates that we are committed to the highest standards of care for our patients. We are proud to be a part of a select group of hospitals in the United States to achieve this level of stroke care.”

According to Michael Mayo, FACHE, hospital president of Baptist Jacksonville, “This certification is much more than a simple process of meeting standards. It’s the recognition of the quality of the processes, physicians and team members that render stroke care to the people of our community. It signifies to all that we meet the stringent criteria to ensure the highest quality of care is being administered to our patients and that Baptist is a trusted provider of stroke care.”

“The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association congratulates Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville on achieving Comprehensive Stroke Center certification,” added Nancy Brown, chief executive officer, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. “Meeting the standards for Comprehensive Stroke Center certification represents a commitment to deliver high quality care to all patients affected by stroke.”

Established in 2012, Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers is awarded for a two-year period to Joint Commission-accredited acute care hospitals. The certification was derived from the Brain Attack Coalition’s “Recommendations for Comprehensive Stroke Centers” (Stroke, 2005), Metrics for Measuring Quality of Care in Comprehensive Stroke Centers” (Stroke, 2011) and recommendations from a multidisciplinary advisory panel of experts in complex stroke care.

Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

About Baptist Health

Baptist Health is a faith-based, mission-driven system in Northeast Florida comprised of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville; Baptist Medical Center Beaches; Baptist Medical Center Nassau; Baptist Medical Center South; Baptist Clay Medical Campus and Wolfson Children’s Hospital  – the region’s only children’s hospital.  All Baptist Health hospitals, along with Baptist Home Health Care, have achieved Magnet™ status for excellence in patient care. Baptist Health is part of Coastal Community Health, a regional affiliation between Baptist Health, Flagler Hospital and Southeast Georgia Health System forming a highly integrated hospital network focused on significant initiatives designed to enhance the quality and value of care provided to our contiguous communities. Baptist Health has the area’s only dedicated heart hospital; orthopedic institute; women’s services; neurological institute, including comprehensive neurosurgical services, a comprehensive stroke center and three primary stroke centers; a Bariatric Center of Excellence; a full range of psychology and psychiatry services; urgent care services; and primary and specialty care physicians’ offices throughout Northeast Florida. The Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center is a regional destination for multidisciplinary cancer care which is clinically integrated with the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the internationally renowned cancer treatment and research institution in Houston. For more details, visit

The Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The familiar Heart-Check mark now helps consumers evaluate their choices in hospital care. Each mark given to a hospital is earned by meeting specific standards for the care of patients with heart disease and/or stroke. The Heart-Check mark can only be displayed by hospitals that have achieved and defined requirements set by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. For more information on the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Hospital Accreditation Program visit

Overview on Skin Cancer

Submitted by Associates in Dermatology

Skin Cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
These rates are skyrocketing in the U.S., where more than 3.5 million skin cancers are diagnosed annually. Since 1975, the skin cancer death rate among Florida residents over age 50 has doubled! Each year, there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.*
Skin cancer is a malignant condition that begins with the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. Recent studies show that skin cancer can result as an accumulative effect from sun damage (90 percent in the case of nonmelanoma skin cancers). This is also why skin cancer rates among baby boomers are escalating.

  • Melanoma is the most deadly of all skin cancers (Melanoma causes more than 75 percent of skin cancer deaths), but when caught early is almost always curable. A melanoma is typically a dark mole. Check for changes in the number, size, shape and color of pigmented areas.
    Half of all melanoma skin cancers occur in men over age 50. Also, if you’re a male baby boomer, you are at twice the risk of dying from melanoma as your female counterparts. Unfortunately, men are far less likely to use sunscreen or wear protective clothing than women. Compounding their failure to protect their skin, men are also less likely to check their skin for lesions or have regular skin exams. In many cases, it is a man’s wife who has to force her husband to visit a dermatologist.
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most frequently occurring skin cancer, with an estimated 2.8 million cases diagnosed every year in the U.S. Though they are generally easily treated, BCCs tend to keep growing if untreated, and in rare cases can start to spread. A BCC tends to be pearly looking, sometimes with rolled borders. The signs to look for are also an open sore, a shiny bump, a reddish or irritated patch or a white, yellow or waxy scar-like area.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is the second most frequently occurring skin cancer. Every year, about 700,000 SCC cases are diagnosed in the U.S. Most are easily treated, but if not removed, some can metastasize and spread to distant tissues and organs, becoming life threatening. They are often a pink and scaly, wart-like growth/open sore with irregular borders, that crusts and occasionally bleeds, persisting for weeks.
  • Actinic Keratosis (AK), pre-cancers, are often an early stage in development of skin cancer and can turn into SCC if left untreated. It is an abnormal growth of keratinocytes, the skin cells that make up the top layer of the skin (epidermis). AKs are small (usually grow from one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch or more) crusty or scaly patches, often red or a combination of colors. It sometimes itches, is inflamed and occasionally bleeds.

Follow up and Outcomes

Cure rates are high, and recurrence rates are low for cancers that are caught and treated early. Early detection of skin cancer is key. Regular skin exams at a dermatology practice are highly recommended. For more information, visit

Caring for Your Soldier: Your Guide to Making the Best Care Package

By Tina Rymar

The military takes care of our country and our freedom, so it is important that we take care of them. During the holidays—and year round—putting together a care package is a great way to show your appreciation and remind a deployed soldier that they are loved and remembered. We have put together a list of some great treats that can be placed in the next package you send to your soldier.

Your soldier will always appreciate snacks, and shareable items will get you points with their roommates, too. Here are some good options:

  • Beef jerky
  • Coffee (both ground and instant varieties)
  • Tea bags and instant cocoa (for soldiers deployed in colder areas)
  • Protein bars
  • Dried fruit
  • Chips that come in a hard package (like Pringles)
  • Flavor packets to add to water, especially ones with electrolytes for added hydration
  • If your soldier has a sweet tooth, candy such as M&Ms would be a safer bet than anything that can melt or get sticky during shipping

Soldiers are provided with meals, but they tend to lack flavor and can get a little boring. Try including these items every now and then to spice up dinner:

  • A small container or individual packets of hot sauce
  • A bottle of barbeque sauce from a local restaurant
  • Seasoned salt
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Seasoning packets

Personal Care
To make sure your soldier is always feeling their best, occasionally include these items in your care packages:

  • A quality razor/razor head replacements
  • Non-aerosol shaving cream
  • Lip balm
  • Topical pain remover (such as IcyHot) for sore muscles
  • Aspirin or other pain medicine
  • High quality socks to be worn under boots
  • Foot powder
  • Baby wipes

Photo by Natalie Swift Photography (3)Entertainment
While those deployed certainly put in a lot of hard work, they also have downtime every now and then.… Read the rest

A Heartfelt Thank You

By Mindy K. Urueta

Not too long ago, it was considered quite normal and expected for a child to respond to a gift with a handwritten thank-you note. For the most part, this form of etiquette has gone by the wayside in today’s fast-moving, technology-obsessed world. These days, it is considered the norm to send a quick text in place of a personal letter. It’s easy, efficient and gets the message out. But is it enough? There is something meaningful and gratifying about a thank-you card that someone took the time to choose, write and deliver.

With the holiday season right around the corner, the time for giving and receiving gifts is here; what better time to get your children in the swing of writing thank-you notes than during the most magical time of the year?

Most children don’t eagerly volunteer to get right to work on thank-you cards after receiving a gift, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be made into a fun, family activity. One tip is to make sure thank-you note writing isn’t presented as a chore, but rather as an enjoyable and creative outlet for trying new penmanship, stationary or even poetry. The recipient will be thrilled that your child took a moment to recognize their gift.

If your little ones are too young to write a note, a colorful thank-you picture is just as meaningful. Markers, crayons, glue and some construction paper are the perfect tools for children to use when creating beautiful works of art to show someone how much their thoughtfulness means.… Read the rest

Bookmark! Holiday Edition

Reviews by Betsy Dailo

For the Grown-Ups

Festivus The Holiday for the Rest of UsFestivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us (2008)
By Allen Salkin
On Dec. 18, 1997, “The Strike” first appeared on TV. This Seinfeld episode seemed to change the world by creating Festivus, a holiday celebrated on Dec. 23 to serve as an alternative to the commercialized holiday Christmas has become. The day includes the Festivus pole, dinner, the Airing of Grievances and of course, the Feats of Strength.

Allen Salkin provides readers with not only a hilarious book, but one that shows how Festivus has been around for centuries, beginning in ancient Rome. However, the Seinfeld version of Festivus originally began in 1966 in the O’Keefe household. Dan O’Keefe was one of the writers for the show and brought his family’s traditions to the TV screen.

Families now celebrate Festivus as a real holiday, even purchasing their own aluminum pole to display. But don’t forget, as Frank Costanza says, “Until you pin me, George, Festivus is not over!”

For the Children

Daddy Christmas and Mama HanukkahDaddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama (2012)
By Selina Alko
In the U.S., families of different faiths are celebrating multiple winter holidays. In Selina Alko’s children’s book, she introduces Sadie, whose parents practice different faiths. Despite celebrating Christmas, Sadie’s dad is the one who makes the latkes, a traditional Jewish food. Her Jewish mom hangs the Christmas stockings.

Throughout the book, Alko shows how people can embrace other traditions to make one happy, diverse family. Their family visits later in the book to discuss their different traditions.… Read the rest

Ways to Help Veterans This Holiday Season

By Betsy Dailo

Many of the men and women who sacrifice so much for this country are honorably discharged and left struggling to make ends meet. To help our veterans during these hard times, take a few moments with your family, friends or coworkers to help the physical and financial security of our veterans.


Some veterans have to rely on donations from nonprofits and volunteer organizations. In turn, these organizations need assistance to continue helping. Whether it’s donating or volunteering your time, let’s spend some time this holiday season helping those who need it most. Below are resources for you and your loved ones to begin helping veterans live a happier and more secure life.


To provide even more service dogs to wounded vets, nonprofit K9s for Warriors opened a new 17,000-square-foot facility that can house a total of 16 veterans each month. The project was completed entirely with donations from the community. Veterans return to their homes after the program with their new battle buddy, who stays by their side around the clock.


Disabled American Veterans Chapter 38 is a volunteer organization whose mission is to build better lives for all of America’s disable d veterans and their families. They offer many opportunities for civilians to volunteer.


The Emergency Service s & Homeless Coalition of Northeast Florida works to provide temporary financial assistance, transportation assistance, housing counseling and financial planning services, and information on referrals to community agencies for low-income and homeless veterans in the Duval, Clay and Nassau county areas.… Read the rest

Share the Love Gift Guide

By Mindy K. Urueta

The holiday season is upon us and it’s the perfect time to take the opportunity to help those less fortunate by giving back. The following are just a few of the many companies and organizations that are committed to making the world a better place for everyone, not just during the holidays, but every day of the year. Alongside the entrepreneurs and philanthropists dedicated to giving back by donating a portion of their profits to help others, the BOGO movement (buy one, give one) has been spreading rapidly, allowing ordinary people to provide much needed help to people living all around the globe. BOGO is a simple concept that is changing the world, one purchase at a time.

As humanitarian and author E.E. Hale said, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”

The Company Store
Bringing Comfort to Homeless Children
More than 200,000 children in the U.S. are homeless tonight, and one out of every 50 children will experience homelessness by the time they are 18. With these staggering statistics, The Company Store is committed to helping those children. For every comforter purchased through their B1G1 program, The Company Store donates one to a homeless child (they get to keep their comforter forever) which is delivered directly to the shelters through Family Promise®.

Carry Hope Wherever You Go
Esperos was founded on the simple, yet powerful idea of bringing hope for a brighter future to children in need.… Read the rest

Sunshine and Stethoscopes

Answers Provided By Dr. Ashraf Affan

Advice given by Dr. Affan is not intended to replace your physician’s advice or opinions. Parents should always contact their person pediatrician regarding their child’s health and well-being.

dr affan sunI am unable to breastfeed, but I want my baby to have the benefits of breast milk. What can I do?
If you are unable to breastfeed, there is always the option of purchasing breast milk from a milk bank. Milk banks follow strict screening, processing and dispensing guidelines established by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America to ensure the safety of donor human milk. They also provide information on where to purchase and the cost of human milk.

I know babies are supposed to sleep on their backs, but my 3-month-old keeps turning on his tummy while sleeping. What should I do?
Place your baby on his back when you put him down to sleep for the first year. If you notice he has rolled over onto his belly, place him on his back again. At 3 months of age, if the baby is strong enough to roll onto his belly by himself, do not stress if he does not stay on his back all night.

My breast-fed baby hasn’t had a bowel movement in five days. She seems fine, but I am worried. What should I do?
It is completely normal for breast-fed babies to go a week to 10 days between bowel movements. The long period between stools in a baby who is thriving is not a cause for concern if the baby’s abdomen remains soft, the baby is content and alert, and the stool is soft.… Read the rest