News and Events

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Gilchrist County Elects New Advisory Council
September 7, 2016

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Gilchrist County recently held a meeting where a new Advisory Council was elected which includes two adult members, a young adult college student, and a member of Students Working Against Tobacco.

The youth members are both returning Advisory Council members, Joshua Akin who is a Santa Fe College student, and Kalin Siegel who is a member of SWAT and a high school student. Other members include a returning member, Jamie Hinote, who is the Outreach and Eligibility Specialist for Palms Medical Group.  She also leads the local tobacco cessation groups in association with Suwannee River AHEC which are held at Palms Medical’s Trenton Office.

A new Advisory Council member is Debbie Destin who is very active in the community. Ms. Destin owns Destin’s Dance and Fitness Academy in Bell, Florida. She is also the Events and Activities Director for ForVets which is a Veterans organization that operates Otter Springs in Gilchrist County.

Each member of the Tobacco Free Partnership Advisory Council brings unique talents and abilities to the group, as well as a passion for making Gilchrist County a healthier place by reducing the impact of tobacco use on youth and adults in the community. Two of our SWAT club alumni are also returning members of the Tobacco Free Partnership: Joshua Akin and Cheyenne Siegel. They bring years of experience in public speaking, leadership activities, and an understanding of how tobacco exposure and advertising impacts young people in Gilchrist County.


The Tobacco Free Partnership of Gilchrist County is an important group of people who are invested in making their community a healthier place, and protecting youth from initiating tobacco or nicotine use in any form. Any interested community member, including youth and young adults are welcome to attend our quarterly meetings, and get involved in the projects we work on throughout the year. 

Due to the hard work of these dedicated individuals, Gilchrist County has seen a decrease in youth and adult smoking rates over the past eight years.  Together, it is possible to make a difference in the lives of others. Lives are being saved from sickness, disease, and even premature death due to the commitment of members of the Partnership. 

For more information about the activities of the Tobacco Free Partnership, please visit our webpage at: or email us at .