Supporting Underserved Communities
USF AHEC relies on relationships with community partners to conduct activities that target medically underserved individuals and those at risk for health disparities with the necessary information and resources to help them access care and make good health choices. While the types of programs vary, the goal is to link communities with better health.
B.E.S.T.: Brain Expansions Scholastic Training (B.E.S.T.) is an East Tampa initiative founded in 2004 that focuses on engaging at-risk youth from grades 5-12 interested in health careers, while enhancing their foundations in science, math and critical thinking. B.E.S.T. relies on volunteers, particularly college-age role models, to teach, mentor and inspire these future health professionals.
BRIDGE Healthcare Clinic: Building Relationships and Initiatives Dedicated to Gaining Equality (BRIDGE) Healthcare Clinic is a student-run free clinic established in 2007 by a team of USF medical students. BRIDGE provides multi-disciplinary, collaborative care to uninsured, medically needy adults from the University Area Community. Services are provided by teams of students medicine, social work, pharmacy and physical therapy students under the supervision of licensed healthcare professionals.
Catholic Mobile Medical Services: Since 2000, the Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg has operated Catholic Mobile Medical Services to provide primary care services, health promotion and screenings to the rural poor of Hillsborough County. There is a tremendous need for health care professionals and interpreters to volunteer at clinic sites throughout Hillsborough County.
Veterans Mental Health: Sponsored by the national AHEC Training and Consultation Center (A-TrACC),the Behavioral/Mental Health of Veterans/Service Members & Families (VMH) Civilian Health Professional Training Project targets primary care providers in rural and underserved communities where the majority of returning Veterans and their families reside. USF AHEC and our centers, Gulfcoast North AHEC and Gulfcoast South AHEC, are proud to serve as resources to help prepare the civilian healthcare workforce to care for returning military service members and their families. The program aims to improve understanding of military culture; increase awareness of the unique behavioral/mental health needs of service members, Veterans and their families; and equip providers with the skills to identify returning service members in the practice setting.
For more information about these and other community partner initiatives, please contact Anne Maynard.