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 Shands 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
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.