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South Florida Medical Director Lisa Gwynn, MD, uses a new telemedicine technology from Verizon to connect a patient with a dermatological issues to specialists from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Stickers make a colorful treat at the end of a doctor visit.
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EVERYDAY STORIES

MIAMI DADE COLLEGE
FORMER PATIENT HEADS OFF TO COLLEGE

It’s always such a joy to hear from a former patient. I spoke with Marlon today, and he is excited to be going to Miami Dade College. Years ago he had vision problems that were holding him back in school, but we got him glasses and he graduated magna cum laude. He’s such a bright kid, it would have been tragic if his potential had been stunted by lack of access to health care.

OUR MOBILE CLINIC
BACK TO SCHOOL CHECKUPS

It’s a busy, busy time on the mobile clinic as families get ready for school. Immunizations are a particular problem.  Today a family newly-arrived from South America came for school physicals. The mom had immunization records for her children, but of course they are written in Spanish. Fortunately, our Nurse Practitioners Ana Maria Melero and Evette Torres are pros at translating these. Ana Maria has been with the project for 12 years so the Spanish names of vaccines are very familiar to her. It took about an hour to match past dosages with the Florida requirements, but my medical team was able to determine the appropriate vaccines and boosters for each child while I completed their full physicals.  Now all the kids are ready to start school.

West Hialeah
FREE SCREENINGS AT HEALTH FAIR

I got a call from the DOCS community outreach program run by the medical students at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.  We are going to participate in the health fair they are organizing in West Hialeah in October. At the health fair, we will do screenings for diabetes, hypertension and obesity, and hand out health education materials that Children’s Health Fund produces.  It’s a great way to let people in the community know about the comprehensive care we provide.

OTHER PROGRAMS

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South Florida

Driving along the sunny South Florida coast, it is easy to forget that 20 years ago Hurricane Andrew was one of the worst natural disasters to hit the United States. The devastation from the storm left thousands of families homeless and in need of emergency health care.

In response to the hurricane, Children’s Health Fund sent a mobile medical clinic from New York City down to South Florida to assist in the recovery effort and then stayed to bring health care to neighborhoods that historically had very little access to doctors.  Twenty years and 75,000 patients later, Dr. Lisa Gwynn and her team, including two advanced nurse practitioners, psychologist, counselor/social worker and driver, make their rounds to elementary schools, faith-based facilities and community centers in the immigrant neighborhoods of Little Havana, Hialeah and Little Haiti, as well as rural communities in Miami-Dade County, to provide dependable health care for children.

BREAKING THE BARRIERS

“More than 75 percent of our patient population has lived in the U.S. for less than five years, which sets them up for numerous barriers to obtaining proper health care,” said Dr. Gwynn. “Language, financial, and cultural barriers often get in the way of a patient receiving the treatment.”

Sometimes a routine visit reveals much more.  A Nicaraguan immigrant brought her 6-year-old daughter to see Dr. Gwynn, and tests determined that she suffered from a rare genetic syndrome. Through the project’s affiliation with University of Miami School of Medicine the child was referred to the needed specialists.  Then the project coordinated efforts so the little girl, who had no health insurance, was scheduled to receive surgery, free of charge, to correct her scoliosis. Now, at 13 years old, she is thriving and actively participating in school activities.

STAYING THE COURSE

Dr. Gwynn looks to the future focused on promoting the health and well-being of every child. The project works closely with each community to ensure families know about all the services available to them and to provide opportunities for health education.  By making sure kids are healthy today, Dr. Gwynn and her team know that there are many possibilities for tomorrow.

Home Institution/Affiliation 
University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Available services 
  • Comprehensive primary care, including physical examinations and immunizations
  • Management of acute and chronic illnesses
  • Referral to subspecialty care and dentists
  • Nutrition assessment, cholesterol screening and body weight management
  • Developmental and lead screenings
  • Psychological counseling and case management; social work services
  • Community and social service referrals
  • Health education, literacy program, classes, and presentations
Special initiatives 
Program Fact sheet