Florida Capitol Museum opens health exhibit

Florida residents can now witness the 125-year journey of Florida Public Health at Florida Historic Capitol Museum’s newest and Florida’s first public health exhibit, concluding May 10. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

The museum now displays more than 50 artifacts, ranging from a collection of unique heirlooms to personal stories of Florida residents battling a history of disease.

Director of the Florida Legislative Research Center, Tiffany Baker, expressed the importance of the exhibit to Florida’s history.

“The exhibit highlights 125 years of hard work and partnership of Floridians and The Florida Historic Capitol Foundation,” said Baker. “The mission of the exhibit is to commemorate loved ones lost to disease and increase awareness of the aid health institutions provide to Floridians every day.

The 125 years of Florida Public Health Opening Reception held Sept. 30 gave residents a first look at the exhibit and a personal introduction of the exhibits oldest artifacts from State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health John Armstrong.

Armstrong said there is importance in celebrating the 125 years of Florida Public Health success and providing efficient health services in the 3rd most popular state and the premier destination spot for vacation.

“Protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts is what we will continue,” said Armstrong. “This exhibit makes public health visible and tangible.”

4th-year Health Care Management student Alfonso Stephens agreed on the importance of the exhibit.

“It is hard for people to relate to issues of public health if they haven’t had a personal experience with poor health,” said Stephens. “Seeing the exhibit makes it real.”The exhibit’s purpose is to educate residents and visitors on the years of battling health epidemics and outbreaks, stemming from the 1888 outbreak of yellow fever in Jacksonville, resulting in the creation of the Board of Health and the appointment of Florida’s first state officer Joseph Yates Porter. The agency devotes its time to helping eradicate disease in Florida.

Sponsors for the exhibit include Florida Blue, Capital Health Plan, Florida Dental Association, Capital Medical Society, and Whole Foods Markets.

Visiting hours for the exhibit are weekdays from 9a.m. to 4.30p.m, Saturdays from 10a.m. to 4:30p.m. and Sundays noon to 4:30 p.m.