School-based health centers

Photo by Dr. Gregory Gray

Mortality and morbidity of children in Haiti is the highest in the western hemisphere. Schools have proven to be an effective setting for child health assessment, early intervention, referral and tracking. UF has established four school-based family health centers in the Gressier and Leogane areas.  

There are several major goals for the health centers:

  • Develop an electronic health tracking system linked to the Ministry of Health’s system
  • Develop and implement a healthcare referral system
  • Prevent, identify and treat diarrheal diseases by means of a home visiting program
  • Integrate age-appropriate health education into regular classroom activities with a special focus on nutrition and disease prevention
  • Treat minor health issues to decrease non-emergency use of other local health centers and promote early treatment before conditions worsen
  • Improve health and educational outcomes by decreasing absenteeism

The health centers are led by Valery Madsen Beau De Rochars, M.D., M.P.H., a research assistant professor in the department of health services research, management and policy, and staffed by Taina Telisma, M.D., and two Haitian nurses.