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Heal Thy People Program

Heal Thy People was designed to engage faith-based leaders and their congregations to help reach communities with the highest rates of hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, cancer, HIV and other health conditions through education and free health screenings.

This program brings UF Health staff and UF faculty physicians into the communities to improve health-awareness efforts in churches from diverse neighborhoods. The goal is simple: to make health care more accessible to people who use the Emergency Department for primary care. Education and awareness are the keys to accomplishing that goal.

Heal Thy People has developed relationships with more than 54 churches since 2006 and screened more than 10,000 members. Staff visit Hispanic churches on the third Sunday of the month and African-American churches every fourth Sunday.

Through Heal Thy People and other community outreach programs, the hospital has seen an increase in patient visits to its seven primary care clinics closest to the hospital. The total number of visits from fiscal year 2006 to fiscal year 2009 grew from 44,582 to 64,639.