Dr. Mike Jordan, Kids Central Board member, was honored at the Florida Coalition for Children’s (FCC) annual conference. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless work for Florida’s children. Below is the nomination letter submitted for Dr. Jordan, as well as, the video of Kurt Kelly, former Kids Central Board member and FCC CEO, introducing Dr. Jordan.
Watch the video here.
A lifetime achievement award recognizes one whose career is filled with a lifetime of service and accomplishments that have made a difference in the lives of Florida’s most vulnerable children and their families. Dr. Michael Jordan may be the last person to anticipate such an award, although he is most deserving. The product of a single mother, Dr. Jordan grew up in a unique situation.
“My mother felt like she could not raise a single male alone, so she got herself into a situation where there were loads of male teachers in a somewhat isolated environment, where there was ready-made recreation,” says Dr. Jordan. All of which is precisely what he believes too many kids today are growing up without.
If you live outside of Ocala, you may be confused by the name. His name is spelled the same as a retired Chicago basketball player, but as Dr. Jordan will tell you, he had it first. Dr. Jordan practiced medicine in the radiology discipline for 25 years. Now retired, he is one of the most recognized children’s advocates in the Ocala community. He works tirelessly to heal and shape the lives of children through the Marion County Children’s Alliance, of which he is the founder and Executive Director since 2001.
“Many children come from difficult circumstances and half of the children today are raised in single parent homes. It is the children with too much idle time who can often get into trouble,” says Dr. Jordan. It is these beliefs that prompted him to expand the Alliance into after-school and summer tutoring programs, family violence prevention education, a jail-based fatherhood initiative, a medical fund for low income children, bullying prevention and childhood nutrition campaigns.
From its inception, Dr. Jordan has refused compensation for his role as Executive Director at the Alliance. From raising awareness of child abuse in Marion County to creating an Annual Healthy Recipe Contest for grade school kids to create a healthy recipe cookbook, the work at the Alliance is tireless. The Annual Back to School Bash provides a backpack filled with basic school supplies, free immunizations, school physicals and eye exams. The Alliance offers substance abuse presentations to educate the community on emerging drug trends and every year, Red Ribbon Week shows commitment to a drug free lifestyle. In addition to the domestic violence prevention efforts, the Alliance offers presentations to increase community awareness on teen violence. Students Against Destructive Decisions Club provides students with the best prevention tools possible to deal with the issues of underage drinking, drug use and other destructive decisions. Add to that the Annual Gift of Christmas Toy Drive and an annual event that honors victims and survivors of domestic violence, and it becomes clear that the Marion County Children’s Alliance identifies needs, gathers resources and coordinates efforts among children’s organizations, parents and caregivers to ensure a safe, healthy and nurturing environment for the children of Marion County.
Dr. Jordan’s idea of retirement is exhausting. His service on a multitude of boards and committees all came about because of his passion for, and the promotion of, the needs and concerns of children. Through grant funding and corporate and private donations, the Alliance has returned millions of dollars to the community in the form of services for children. And Dr. Jordan doesn’t just “show up,” he gets involved. He writes articles for the Ocala Star-Banner to increase education and awareness of the services provided by the Alliance and how to get involved. He fought to reverse a 2009 legislative decision for supplemental educational funding for tutoring children in Marion County. He is a Founding Trustee of the Marion County Medical Society Insurance Trust and over the years has served on the Healthy Families Advisory Board, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Munroe Regional Medical Center, Vice Chairman of the Ocala Community Care Board, and served on the Board of Directors of the Early Learning Coalition. He was Honorary Chairperson with his wife, Carol Jordan, for the Marion County March of Dimes, March for Babies in 2010. He served on the Public Education Foundation for Marion County Board of Directors and was involved for several years with the Golden Apple Awards Program. He served on the CLM Workforce Youth Committee, Student Health Advisory Committee, Munroe Regional Medical Center Board of Directors and Marion County Mental Health Court Management Team. He was Assistant Coach for the Forest High School Varsity and JV golf teams for 4 years.
Dr. Jordan began serving on the Kids Central board of directors in 2005 when Kids Central was going through some very rough times. He was the first Chairman of the community-based board and resided over the transition from a board of providers. He has served 12 years on the Kids Central Board of Directors and remained steadfast in support to see Kids Central rise through the ranks as a high-performing community-based care agency.
The community recognizes the contributions from Dr. Jordan and acknowledges him as the significant force for children’s wellbeing in the community. Interfaith Emergency Services recognized Dr. Jordan in 2014 at their signature fundraising event, “Legacies of Love” that provides a tribute to people in the community who have created a Legacy of Love through their community service and philanthropy.
Ed Dean served as Marion County Sheriff for 14 years and stated that Dr. Jordan is primarily responsible for the overall achievements the Children’s Alliance has made with him as the Executive Director and the Marion County community owes Dr. Jordan a huge debt of gratitude.Past School Board Superintendent, Jim Yancey, said that there is no other organization like the Children’s Alliance where all providers gather in one place to solve children’s problems.
When Dr. Jordan looks at children, he sees possibilities. For these reasons and so many more, I nominate Dr. Mike Jordan, Executive Director of the Marion County Children’s Alliance and Kids Central board member for the FCC Lifetime Achievement Award.