News and Updates

AM Break with Ann & Audra

AM Break with Big Bend Cares and Artopia May 25, 2017

How much do we love Charlie Adams?? We don't have the words! So watch this instead and find out what's happening with Big Bend Cares and more about Charlie's second, very special gig that's going to impact our community for the better! (Here's a hint "Care Point"….)Oh, and it's just about time for Artopia 2017!

Posted by AM Break with Ann & Audra on Thursday, May 25, 2017

AM Break with Ann & Audra
May 25 · 

How much do we love Charlie Adams?? We don’t have the words! So watch this instead and find out what’s happening with Big Bend Cares and more about Charlie’s second, very special gig that’s going to impact our community for the better! (Here’s a hint “Care Point”….)
Oh, and it’s just about time for Artopia 2017!

Original video here.

DEP signs off on Care Point cleanup

, Democrat senior writerPublished 1:30 p.m. ET May 10, 2017 | Updated 1:30 p.m. ET May 10, 2017


The state of Florida is signing off on the environmental cleanup at Big Bend Cares new health care facility, which is being built on the site of an old auto shop.

The Department of Environmental Protection told Big Bend Cares in a letter last week it plans to issue a site rehabilitation completion order, signaling completion of the cleanup at Care Point Health and Wellness Center. The $11 million facility, which is under construction on South Monroe Street, is set to open in September.

The project came into the crosshairs of Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor, who held a news conference with local activist Dr. Ed Holifield in February to blast the environmental cleanup. They asked State Attorney Jack Campbell to investigate, but he passed, saying his general counsel reviewed the matter and found no cause for an investigation.

Rob Renzi, executive director of Big Bend Cares, calls the letter from DEP “complete vindication.” He says the nonprofit went “above and beyond” remediation requirements and noted the cleanup was completed with guidance from DEP and was completed well before Proctor’s press conference. 

Last year, Holifield contacted DEP after reading an environmental report showing benzo(a)pyrene and arsenic in the soil at levels above commercial limits but below residential limits. DEP then ordered Big Bend Cares to conduct a site assessment. Their environmental consultant responded with a report in March saying there was no evidence impacted groundwater and soils need further assessment, remedial action or monitoring.

Proctor questioned the report, however, in a statement sent to the press Monday.

“Only God and Mother Nature truly know how right or wrong the findings of the (consultant) may affect our ecology and the human population,” he wrote. “I hope that God will protect the FAMU students and communities that surround this site including the future patrons that will breathe the air around this site.”


Renzi called Proctor’s comments “inflammatory and slanderous.” He said the District 1 commissioner “has no experience or knowledge” about environmental cleanups.

“The reputation of both Big Bend Cares and the builder, PSBI, were besmirched by these accusations and they deserve to be restored,” Renzi said in an email to the Democrat.

Holifield has lobbed public criticism at Care Point, saying it won’t treat poor and uninsured patients once it opens. But Renzi has denied that accusation, pointing out that Care Point is required to treat the uninsured as part of its agreement with the Community Redevelopment Agency.

“Care Point construction remains on schedule in a safe and clean building site and will provide underserved residents of the south side with access to services, something that the county commissioner in that district should be supportive of,” Renzi said.

Chain of Parks

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Artopians Nancy Jefferson, AJ Brown, Ron Sutterer, Mike Cook,and Kristen Summers are presenting their work at Chain of Parks this year. Please visit their booths this weekend and thank them and LeMoyne for supporting Big Bend Cares!

Find out more info about this year’s event here!

Artopia Submissions Now Open!

We are now accepting art submissions for Artopia 2017! Our Artopia page has updated info and the online submission form for those who want to give us your information prior to delivering your art piece(s). We are excited to see the creativity our Artopians will share this year!

Find out more about Artopia here. Artopia will be held on June 24th, 2017 at the Donald L Tucker Civic Center.

Submit art for the auction here.  The deadline to submit art is June 9th at 5:00 pm.

Buy tickets and view the art here.


Thanks to everyone to came out to support AIDS Walk, sponsored, joined a team, and helped us spread awareness! We met and passed our fundraising goal, with a total of $26,000 raised. A special thanks to our performers, Tuesday Supper Club, The Good Little Chickens, and the Seminole Tap Troupe for providing entertainment when the weather chased us out of the park. We are grateful that the BBC Community helps us raise awareness for the needs of those affected by HIV in our community, and how we can all play a roll in preventing its spread. 

FSU medical researcher: Much work remains on World AIDS Day 2016

Dr. Jonathan Appelbaum, professor of internal medicine at the FSU College of Medicine

Dr. Jonathan Appelbaum, professor of internal
medicine at the FSU College of Medicine

Florida State University’s Dr. Jonathan Appelbaum remembers that day in 1981 when a young patient was admitted to the hospital with a rare case of pneumocystis pneumonia. Appelbaum, an internal medicine resident at the time, and his colleagues did not recognize the man’s illness as an AIDS case.

No one would have. Not much was known at that time about the mysterious pneumonia cases claiming an increasing number of lives around the country. In June 1981, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first announced symptoms of the unknown — and deadly — disease. Appelbaum’s young pneumonia patient did not survive.

As World AIDS Day 2016 raises awareness about the disease on Thursday, Dec. 1, Appelbaum — a professor of internal medicine at FSU — considers the progress researchers have made battling HIV/AIDS. It was a death sentence 35 years ago. The disease has killed about 660,000 people in the United States over that time, according to the CDC.

Today, there’s a stark contrast. While an estimated 1.2 million people in the U.S. are infected with HIV, many live relatively normal lives. HIV infection is no longer a death sentence. Patients are able to manage it like a chronic disease.

“The average life expectancy in the United States for someone is around 79,” said Appelbaum, who has researched the disease throughout his career. “If you’re infected with HIV at age 20, and you get care and follow up with medical appointments and take your medications, your average life expectancy now is 71. That’s certainly much better than the old days when if you got infected at 20, you were lucky to live to 30 to 35. It was about a 10 to 15-year lifespan.”

Continue reading here.

Big Bend Cares

2201 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301

850.656.2437 tel
850.942.6402 fax