TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Officials from Florida A&M University (FAMU), alongside Florida State University’s College of Medicine, are working with the Gadsden County School Board and the Gadsden County Health Department to develop a 4,000 square feet state-of-the-art Health and Wellness Service and Training Center at Havana Middle School.
To provide quality health care for students, Havana School Board employees and the citizens of Havana are at the forefront of Shirley Aaron’s, chair of the steering committee, agenda. Aaron is working tediously to congregate FAMU, FSU, Tallahassee Community College, Gadsden County officials and the community to decrease the number of individuals affected by inadequate healthcare in Havana. A large population of the community is living without insurance or receives Medicaid.
“It has been my dream for a long time to have a health and wellness center that serves the people who are underserved, or served in a limited way in Havana,” said Aaron. According to Aaron, there is one practicing medical provider in Havana, which does not provide medical services for individuals receiving Medicaid. “We decided to create a center where we have students from pharmacy, allied health, dental hygiene, nursing, physical therapy and medicine working together,” said Dr. Maggie Blackburn, a committee member and director of rural health in FSU’s Department of Family Medicine and Rural Health. In December 2010, Yvonne Nelson-Langley, program coordinator for FAMU Community Health Alliance, was brought on board bridging the gap between the committee and the university.