Throughout its more than 50-year history, the mission of the College of Public Health and Health Professions has always focused on improving health through research, education and service. Below are some examples of the college’s community outreach activities.
HealthStreet is a community-based effort that works every day to reduce disparities in healthcare and research by linking the medically underserved to medical and social services and opportunities to participate in research. Community health workers meet residents at health fairs, special events, bus stops, parks, laundromats, grocery stores, libraries, and other locations in North Central Florida. Community members can also visit HealthStreet to access free services, including health screenings, use of computers, classes, and many more. The aim is to improve relationships between community members, health care providers, community organizations, and researchers in the University of Florida community.
A Better Tomorrow for Haiti
The College of Public Health and Health Professions is involved in several activities to improve the health and quality of life for residents of Haiti, including the establishment of four school-based health centers and a school nutrition program.
Students and faculty from the department of occupational therapy annually offer CarFit, a free national program for older drivers. Seniors are led through a 12-point checklist with their personal vehicles and receive recommendations for adjustments and adaptations to enhance their safety.
UF Craniofacial Camp
Faculty and students in the departments of speech, language, and hearing sciences and clinical and health psychology, staff an annual four-day camp for children with craniofacial differences and their families. The camp is designed to help children develop coping skills and improve self esteem and self confidence. The camp provides an opportunity for families to spend time with the specialists and other families with similar problems in an informal setting where they can ask questions, express concerns and develop friendships.
Each year, international service projects are conducted during spring break by groups of students and faculty. Annual projects include:
- Doctor of Audiology students and faculty in the department of communicative disorders visit Merida, Yucatan, Mexico to administer audiologic testing to hundreds of people, primarily children.
- Members of the department of physical therapy travel to the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua in Managua to assist local faculty in the development of curricula and training programs in rehabilitation.
Occupational Therapy Equal Access Clinic
At the student-run Occupational Therapy Equal Access Clinic in Gainesville, patients who are uninsured or underinsured can receive occupational therapy services. The clinic is held in conjunction with the PT Equal Access Clinic and is open to the public from 6-8 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of each month at 1621 SW 13th Street (above CVS).
Department of Physical Therapy
Doctor of Physical Therapy students and faculty offer a number of services to Gainesville residents, including the GAiTOR Challenge, a community health and wellness program, health screenings and patient education and a weekly Equal Access Clinic, providing free physical therapy services.