Gadsden School-Based Health Centers
The College of Medicine has been working with the Gadsden County school-based clinics since 2006. The partnership includes the Florida Department of Health for Gadsden County and the Gadsden County School Board. The program is funded by the FSU Dance Marathon and supports two full-time nurse practitioners. In addition, FSU College of Medicine faculty, medical students, and FSU doctoral psychology students provide care and counseling services at Gadsden High School, George W. Munroe Elementary School, James A. Shanks Middle School, Stewart Street Elementary School, Gadsden High School, and Carter Parramore Academy. Additional schools such as Havana Magnet and West Gadsden Middle School are served on a limited basis and as requested by the school principals for sports pre-participation physical exams.
In addition, the Gadsden School-Based Health Center works with the Panhandle Area Education Consortium (PAEC) and conducts the Summer School Health Clinic and Education Program for students from varied backgrounds, including children whose parents are working in Gadsden County for the summer. This outreach program aligns with the mission of the College of Medicine by providing care for underserved populations. The FSU Dance Marathon dollars assist with underwriting the migrant daycare program for babies and toddlers and with the purchase of eyeglasses and medications for needy children. The Florida State University students are afforded the opportunity to obtain valuable experience while working with multidisciplinary teams in a rural setting.
The clinicians, Dr. Susan LaJoie and Dr. Myeshia Carroll, provide over 70 physical exams for the students with special needs in Gadsden County so that they are able to participate in the Special Olympics program. The nurse practitioners and second-year medical students from the FSU College of Medicine provide first aid and moral support during the spring games.
This program impacts health equity by improving the overall health status of the school-aged population through preventive services, chronic disease management, behavioral health assessments, and focused health education programs that address the determinants of health. Overall, the Gadsden School-Based Health Centers benefit over 2,000 children, logging anywhere between 500 and 600 visits per month.