JPEF Helps Local Students Forge a Path in Healthcare


Photo courtesy of Duval County Public Schools


With a significant grant from the HCA Healthcare Foundation, the Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF) is set to enhance healthcare career opportunities for high school students across Duval County. This program, part of a statewide initiative called “Career Pathways to a Healthier Florida,” aims to prepare students for in-demand healthcare roles through enhanced healthcare academy offerings.

"The support from the HCA Healthcare Foundation is crucial as we strive to address the growing need for skilled healthcare professionals," said JPEF President Rachael Tutwiler Fortune. "This initiative will not only prepare students for successful careers but also inspire them to serve their communities. We're pleased to partner with Duval County Public Schools to address this important need."

JPEF will use this funding to support two programs at Darnell Cookman for high school students: the Biomedical Sciences Academy and the Nursing Academy, providing students with opportunities to pursue careers in the health science cluster. Our efforts are supported by a collaborative network facilitated by the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations, ensuring best practices and resources are shared among all participating local education foundations.

“For more than 50 years, HCA Healthcare has been caring for the communities where our colleagues live and work. Whether it’s through volunteering our time, making charitable donations, or partnering with other organizations, we are committed to improving more lives in more ways,” Joanne Pulles, vice president of Community Engagement at HCA Healthcare and president of the HCA Healthcare Foundation. 

About JPEF

The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is an independent think-and-do tank that believes in the potential of all students. We activate community support, connect partners, and advance effective ideas for the success of all students. 

About Duval County Public Schools Career and Technical Education

Career and Technical Education provides students with opportunities to explore career options in settings that anticipate and address every student's needs: from guidance and counseling to coursework that incorporates both academic and occupational applications. For more information visit

About HCA Healthcare Foundation

Since 1998, the HCA Healthcare Foundation has contributed over $247 million in grants and matching gifts to more than 500 agencies and organizations, focusing on those that promote health and well-being, education and quality of life. In 2021, the HCA Healthcare Foundation established the Healthier Tomorrow Fund, a community impact fund with an initial investment of $75 million, to expand the work being done in Middle Tennessee to other community partners in communities where HCA Healthcare has a presence. Grantmaking for Middle Tennessee and the Healthier Tomorrow Fund is just one way that HCA Healthcare supports charitable giving and social investment. Through matching gifs to support colleagues’ charities of choice and encouraging colleagues to volunteer their time and talents, the HCA Healthcare Foundation is helping to create healthier tomorrows for the communities where our colleagues live and serve. Visit to learn more.




of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2021-2022.