JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new health care initiative is taking doctors to students in Northwest Jacksonville.
In addition to two local school-based health centers, Baptist Health and Wolfson Children's Hospital teamed up to expand the Ribault Family Resource Center.
The new centers benefit students and their families by cutting the travel time needed to receive proper health care.
Baptist Health found that less than 5 percent of children and adults living in the 32208 and 32209 ZIP codes have seen a primary care doctor.
That's why Baptist Health and Wolfson Children's Hospital teamed up with other community organizations to expand the Ribault Family Resource Center on Ribault High's campus.
It's part of the new school-based health centers that bring doctors to students, which means more access to health care.
Students will be able to see full-time pediatricians and practitioners just steps away from a classroom, regardless of the family's ability to pay. That's in addition to a mental health program that's already on campus.
The initiative goes way beyond a typical school nurse clinic.
"It becomes their medical home, their primary care office,” said Hugh Green, CEO of Baptist Health. “It will give them preventive care, immunizations, all the things that are needed."
The in-school health centers inside Ribault High and Ribault Middle are staffed by licensed health care professionals who currently serve the students with their parents' consent.
Starting in February, the Family Resource Center will serve all children under 21 in the community.
Major donors and federal grants will continue to fund the health care centers.