Health Council of South Florida Board of Directors Announcement

We are pleased to welcome two new Monroe County members to our Board of Directors, recently approved by the Board of County Commissioners.

Kate Bauer-Jones, MEd is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Way of the Florida Keys, recently relocated to Key West in January of 2015 from Tampa, Florida. She grew up in Washington State, but spent her entire life vacationing in the Florida Keys. When given the opportunity to serve in one of her favorite places on earth, she couldn’t say no!

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology, Religion, and Astronomy from the University of Virginia, Ms. Bauer-Jones worked as a teacher of primarily special needs children both in Florida and in high risk public schools in the South Bronx, New York. She received a Master’s degree in Education, Management and Innovation from Western Governor’s University, and undertook doctoral coursework in Education Leadership and Public Policy at the University of South Florida.

“I am honored to be chosen to serve on the Board of the Health Council of South Florida. To work with an organization whose values define respect, integrity, diversity, and accountability in promoting the greater health and well-being across our community is a perfect fit for the work I do in the Florida Keys for an organization whose mission is to be the leader in community caring. I am excited for the opportunity to help facilitate and promote collaborations throughout our region that will better life for all of our friends, family, and neighbors.”

Ms. Bauer-Jones is involved with the Guardian Ad Litem program, where she is honored to be able to serve as a “voice for children” involved in the Dependency Court system. She has attended the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office’s “Citizen’s Police Academy,” the Community Foundation’s Leadership Success Academy, and the City of Key West’s Ambassador Academy. She is also a proud member of the Key West Rotary, and in her bits of free time, she loves to be with family, travel, swim, boat, and occasionally visit the many amazing restaurants and landmarks throughout the Keys!

Venita Garvin, MA is the Chief Executive Officer of the Domestic Abuse Shelter, Inc. which serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in the Monroe County from Key Largo to Key West. Ms. Garvin has been at the helm of the Domestic Abuse Shelter, Inc. for eighteen years.

Ms. Garvin also launched her own company, the Garvin Valdez Group, LLC in 2010. The Garvin Valdez Group is a boutique specializing in grant writing, resource development for non-profits, and professional and personal development seminars for adult women and teen girls.

"I am honored to be afforded this opportunity to serve on the HCSF board of directors. I look forward to working with the leadership of HCSF to be of continued exemplary service in support of the mission and purpose."

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Ms. Garvin has a B.S. degree in Psychology with a concentration in Mental Health from Tennessee State University, in Nashville and a Masters degree in Liberal Arts from New York University, in New York. Ms. Garvin has been involved in the domestic violence movement since her first position with the YWCA in Cincinnati, Ohio where she was the Director of the Alice Paul House and the Transitional Housing Center. She became the Director of the YWCA, Women’s Advocacy Program in Richmond, Virginia from 1991- 1995.

Ms. Garvin has experienced a lot of firsts in her lifetime. She was the first woman of color to hold the position of Director for the battered women’s program of the YWCA in Cincinnati and Richmond, Virginia. She was the first woman of color to hold the position of CEO for the Domestic Abuse Shelter and the first woman of color to hold the office of President for the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence since the inception of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence in 1977. Ms. Garvin held the office of President from 2002-2003.

The Health Council of South Florida, Inc. is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization serving as the state designated local health planning agency for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. For over 46 years, HCSF has been engaged in forecasting health care needs and access to health care delivery systems, providing data analysis and insight, increasing public awareness, and providing consultation and assistance to Miami-Dade County officials in the development and implementation of health care policy. The Council also provides essential services such as GIS mapping, community health needs assessments, meeting facilitation and event coordination.It is the HCSF’s mission to be the source of unbiased health and quality of life data and analysis; the preferred partner for quality program planning, management, evaluation, and community services; the facilitator of collaboration and partnerships in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties; and the trusted champion for ethical and targeted healthcare policy at the local, state, and national levels. For more information about the Health Council, its programs, and services, please visit