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Palm Health Foundation Surpasses $1 Million Goal to Advance Brain Health

Announcement Shared with Supporters During Better Brain Health Campaign Luncheon

West Palm Beach, Fla.– Three hundred attendees at Palm Health Foundation’s second annual Better Brain Health Luncheon on November 1, 2018 at the Kravis Center Cohen Pavilion were the first to hear that the organization achieved its $1 million campaign goal to advance brain health in just ten months, 14 months ahead of schedule.  Sponsored by Jupiter Medical Center’s Calcagnini Center for Mindfulness, the luncheon also featured keynote speaker and TED Talk “All-Star,” Helen E. Fisher, PhD, a pioneer in the research of human personality and the neurochemistry of leadership, and an enlightening interview with mental health advocate Jess Merrell about how she coped with the loss of her father to mental illness.

President and CEO Patrick McNamara announced the $1 million Campaign for Better Brain Health goal at the foundation’s inaugural Better Brain Heath Luncheon in January 2018.  In the ten months since, Palm Health Foundation has seen an outpouring of support from funders, donors and sponsors enabling the organization to take a leadership role in funding innovative solutions to brain health.  During his remarks, McNamara named a 100-day challenge to fight the opioid crisis, training residents through Mental Health First Aid, and launching a new collective effort to address behavioral health in schools and neighborhoods called BeWellPBC as examples.

“Support for mental health conditions has claimed the top spot of Palm Beach County’s greatest unmet health needs for several years in a row,” said McNamara.  “It’s evident by the rapid success of our campaign that our residents believe we must create change for better brain health and they have faith in our ability to fund solutions that will create impact.”

One of the prominent organizations that has partnered with the foundation on brain health is presenting luncheon sponsor Jupiter Medical Center.  “We are proud to partner with Palm Health Foundation and sponsor the Better Brain Health Luncheon,” said Don McKenna, president and CEO. “Jupiter Medical Center supports brain health in a variety of ways – from our award-winning stroke services to our Calcagnini Center for Mindfulness, which supports overall brain health through a number of programs and lectures focused on integrating mind and body health.”

Dr. Fisher addressed the mind-body connection during her talk at the luncheon.  She presented her groundbreaking research showing the importance of social relationships to brain health and overall well-being and the adverse effects of social isolation on the brain. 

Following her talk, Dr. Fisher joined Jess Merrell and media personality Roxanne Stein for a heartfelt conversation about the after-effects of suicide on loved ones.  Merrell’s family founded The Merrell Family Foundation after her father’s passing to increase awareness about the need for mental health resources while helping to erase the stigma around mental illness.  The family foundation has become a strong partner of Palm Health Foundation, sponsoring the Train the Brain monthlong community health campaign leading up to the luncheon.

Luncheon guests included Dr. Alina Alonso, Florida Department of Health Palm Beach County Director  and Palm Health Foundation chair, former chairs John Lacy and Philippe Jeck, and leadership from partner organizations, including the Southeast Florida Behavioral Health Network, Florida Atlantic University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Children’s Services Council, and the School District of Palm Beach County.

About Palm Health Foundation

Palm Health Foundation is Palm Beach County’s community foundation for health. With the support of donors and a focus on results, the foundation builds strong community partnerships, respects diverse opinions, advocates for its most vulnerable neighbors and inspires innovative solutions to lead change for better health now and for generations to come. Palm Health Foundation has invested more than $75 million in Palm Beach County health since 2001. For more information about Palm Health Foundation, visit or call (561) 833-6333.

About Jupiter Medical Center

A not-for-profit 327-bed regional medical center consisting of 207 private acute-care hospital beds and 120 long-term care, sub-acute rehabilitation and Hospice beds, Jupiter Medical Center is reimagining how to restore the community’s health and wellness. Award-winning physicians, world-class partnerships and innovative techniques and technology enable Jupiter Medical Center to provide a broad range of services with specialty concentrations in cardiology, oncology, imaging, orthopedics & spine, digestive health, emergency and pediatric services, lung & thoracic, women’s health, weight management and men’s health.

Founded in 1979, Jupiter Medical Center has approximately 1,650 team members, 637 physicians and 640 volunteers. Jupiter Medical Center continues to perform in the top 10 percent of hospitals for patient quality and satisfaction. For more information on Jupiter Medical Center, please call (561) 263-2234 or visit


Media Contact:
Melanie Otero
Otero Communications


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Last Updated: 30-Nov-2018