Health information network Availity is being honored today by
Communities in Schools of Jacksonville for its commitment and service to
Ribault Middle School through United Way of Northeast Florida's
Achievers for Life program. The award reception will begin at 6 p.m.
today at the Times-Union Building on 1 Riverside Avenue.
Russ Thomas, CEO of Availity, will accept the "Corporate Partner of the
Year" award from Communities in Schools for committing a four-year
sponsorship to the Achievers for Life dropout prevention program. In
addition to its financial contribution, Availity has committed to a full
partnership with the school through mentoring, activities and
contributing technical training through the school's technology
Availity began its partnership with Ribault Middle School last year, and
employee volunteers have thus far added landscaping to the school
grounds, facilitated a health and fitness activity day, held a school
supply drive and launched a mentoring program. There are currently 36
Availity associates mentoring sixth-grade students on a regular basis -
the most mentors from any single company in Jacksonville, according to
Communities in Schools. All mentors have made a one-year commitment to
"As a company, we are committed to enriching the communities in which we
work by contributing our time and our treasure," Thomas said.
"Public/private partnerships to improve eduation are a great way to
build sustainable communities; Working with Ribault Middle School and
Achievers for Life is an ideal partnership."
Achievers for Life is a United Way-sponsored community initiative
focused on dropout prevention, targeting sixth grade students who are at
risk for academic failure. The program consists of one-on-one mentoring
and counseling for students, family support services, and parent
training to increase family engagement at school. Since implementing
Achievers for Life in 2007, United Way has seen measureable results -
school absences decreased by 13 percent, participants' grade-point
averages improved 12 percent, and students were promoted to the next
grade at a rate of 96 percent.
The 2012-2013 school year is the first year that Achievers for Life has
been active in Ribault Middle School, which was made possible by
Availity's commitment to the program.
"Businesses have a key role to play in the outcome of our community.
Without an educated workforce, there will be a limited pool of talent
and drive to grow companies," said Lauren Cowman, coordinator of
mentoring and volunteer services for Communities in Schools of
Jacksonville. "The impact of mentoring in United Way's Achievers for
Life program ensures that students identified as low academic achievers
will graduate from high school to pursue a college education, career, or
The Kufeldt Lighthouse Award for "Corporate Partner of the Year" award
is Communities in Schools of Jacksonville's highest honor. The award was
named in honor of James Kufeldt, the former president of Winn-Dixie
Stores Inc., and his wife Anne, who were both mentors and supporters of
Communities in Schools of Jacksonville.
Communities in Schools of Jacksonville has been providing dropout
prevention services to students in Duval County for more than 21 years.
The program annually serves more than 6,600 students in 45 schools with
mentoring, scholarship, literacy, enrichment and after-school programs.
About Availity, LLC - Patients. Not Paperwork.®
Availity optimizes information exchange between multiple health care
stakeholders through a single, secure network. The Availity®
Health Information Network encompasses administrative, financial, and
clinical services, supporting both real-time and batch electronic data
interchange (EDI) via the web and through business to business (B2B)
integration. For more information, including an online demonstration,
please visit www.availity.com
or call 1.800.AVAILITY (282.4548).
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