Big Bend Rural Health Network

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The Big Bend Rural Health Network is one of nine established in the state of Florida per Section 381.0406, Florida Statutes.  We collaborate with others in the region to ensure that our residents can improve or prevent chronic diseases.  Our staff members are trained in chronic disease self-management, diabetes, wellness, and tobacco dependence.  We are here to serve!

Mission:  To improve health outcomes in rural counties with quality health education and resources.

Service Area:  Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla, and rural Leon Counties.

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Loop Us Together – Our newly funded faith-based lupus awareness and health education project is underway (January 1 – August 31, 2017).
Click here for the details:  2017-Loop-Us-Together-flyer.  We are seeking churches to participate.  

Contact:  Kayla Wimberly –

Pink Ribbon Supporters – Breast Cancer Awareness in Gadsden County – Ongoing
Contact:  Alexandria Washington, MPH, CCHW –

– pink-ribbon-supporters


Lupus & Tobacco Webinar, January 11, 2017 @ 11:30 AM
Click here for registration details:  LupusTobaccoFlyer

Florida Lupus Summit, August 29, 2016
Theme:  Exploring the National Public Health Agenda for Lupus


2016-2021 State Action Plan (Florida Public Health Plan for Addressing Lupus)


  • Senior Health
  • Chronic Disease Complication Rate Reduction
  • Obesity Prevention/Reduction & Health Literacy
  • Tobacco & Lupus Education
  • Community Wellness Classes
  • Promotion of Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Self-Management (Faith-based)
  • Local Health Planning Assistance
  • Improvement on Access to Health Care and Quality of Care
  • Internship Opportunities

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Robert “Bob” Auston, MD, FAAFP, Board Chairman
Madison County, FL

Gloria “Gigi” Auston, PhD
Madison County, FL

Jennifer S. Johnson, MPH
Florida Department of Health – Jefferson and Madison Counties
Tallahassee, Florida

Padraic “Paddy” Juarez, MS, REHS, CPM
Florida Department of Health – Wakulla & Taylor
Crawfordville, Florida

Ivette A. López, PhD, MPH
Professor,  Institute of Public Health and Director, Latino Initiative for Better Health Research and Education, Center for Health Equity
Florida A&M University
Tallahassee, Florida

Paulina Pendarvis
Public Awareness Director
North Florida Medical Centers
Monticello, Florida

Sharon Sleeper, RN
Apalachicola, Florida

Ex Officio
Rob Thomas, DrPH, EdD, MBA, CEO
Big Bend Rural Health Network
Tallahassee, Florida

Send all inquiries to:
Big Bend Rural Health Network
3015 Powell Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32308
Phone: 850-224-1177