Physical and Mental Health

Quality Health Care: Why is it Important?

Healthy children arrive at school ready to learn. Classrooms are more productive since kids with access to health care have fewer contagious illnesses. Ultimately, children are better educated and more likely to graduate from high school and go on to college. When families have access to quality heath care, parents can have success in the workplace with less time away from the job. With a better ability to maintain employment, they are able to advance their careers, becoming more financially secure. When children are healthy, our entire community wins.

Parents, Have Questions?

Get answers to health care questions for parents, kids and teens.

Immunization Questions?

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Florida KidCare

Today, over 3000 children in Leon County are without health insurance, even though many are eligible for coverage through Medicaid or Florida KidCare.

Florida KidCare is the state’s children’s health insurance program for uninsured children under age 19. It includes four different parts, or programs: MediKids, Healthy Kids, Children’s Medical Services and Medicaid. When you apply for the insurance, Florida KidCare will check which program your child may be eligible for based on age and family income.

Through a partnership with Leon County Schools, a Whole Child Leon outreach specialist identifies uninsured children in Leon County Schools and reaches out to each family to assist them in the application process of Medicaid/KidCare. A Whole Child/KidCare Outreach Specialist is available to assist parents with applications and can be reached at 850-692-3134.

Services covered by Florida KidCare include:

  • Doctor visits
  • Check-ups and shots
  • Hospital stays
  • Surgery
  • Prescriptions
  • Emergencies
  • Vision and hearing
  • Dental care
  • Mental health care

Healthy Infant Partnership

Recent studies show that Tallahassee’s infant mortality rate is higher than the state average. This critical issue has become a focal point of Whole Child Leon in conjunction with our many community partners. Community-wide forums and summits have been held to attack the issue head-on.The Healthy Infant Partnership was created in 2009. It engages agencies, organizations, civic groups, and individuals in a cooperative enterprise to implement strategies that relate to increasing the number of babies healthy at age 1.

Did you know?

In Leon County, the infant mortality rate among blacks is 15.8 deaths per 1,000 births compared to 4.5 deaths among whites. The Tallahassee Democrat has published several articles since the start of 2008 addressing this crisis and identified many factors related to infant mortality including: premature birth, low birthweight, birth defects, sudden infant death syndrome and child abuse. Also included in this matrix is the health of the mother. Being overweight, in general poor health, a lack of perinatal and prenatal care also come into play with the tragedy of losing a baby.

Whole Child Leon’s Healthy Infant Partnership (HIP) was recognized by the Community Indicators Consortium which published a “Real Story” about HIP. The Real Stories are intended to provide real life examples of the advantages to both community indicator and organizational performance measurement projects as a result of integrating these two types of efforts: community indicators would have a greater influence on what governments and organizations do to improve a community and governments’ and organizations’ performance measures would be more relevant to the community conditions that are of the greatest concern to citizens and other key community stakeholders.

Pediatric Dental Care

The rules haven’t changed since we were kids-brush at least twice a day and floss once a day!

Did you know?

Students miss more than 51 million school hours per year because of dental problems or related conditions? Dental pain can distract students, cause their schoolwork to suffer or even lead to school absences. (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry)

Screening and Assessment

Community-Wide Screening Days: Children with developmental delays are at high risk of lifelong disabilities which may compromise their ability to fully participate in their community and to realize their full potential. If developmental delays are identified early in a child’s life, there is a high probability that appropriate interventions can enable the child to overcome the delay completely or significantly mitigate its impact on the child’s life. Unfortunately many children are not screened early enough to detect possible delays before they progress to a much more serious and often irreversible condition.

“Nationally, about 16% to 18% of children have disabilities such as speech-language impairments, mental retardation, learning disabilities, and emotional/behavioral disturbance. Although such children are twice as likely to seek health care as children without disabilities, only 20% to 30% of these children are detected prior to school entrance. Under-enrollment rates in early intervention programs (of roughly 80%) confirm the need to improve early detection in primary care.” (Glascoe and Shapiro, 2007)

The Whole Child Social and Emotional Action Team executed Leon County’s first three Community-wide Infant Toddler and Preschool Developmental Comprehensive Screening Days hosted at Children’s Medical Services. Successful outcomes included:

  • Over 300 children screened
  • More than 250 families were identified as needing further resources and all of them were connected to these resources
  • More than 25 organizations participated, including Apalachee Mental Health Center, Brehon Institute, Capital Area Community Action Agency (Head Start), Capital Area Healthy Start Coalition, Children’s Medical Services, Children’s Home Society, Department of Children and Families, Early Learning Coalition, Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System, FSU, Leon County Health Department, Leon County Schools, TCC, Progressive Pediatric Development Center
  • Collaborators agreed to semi-annual Screening Days

Whole Child is not another program, but a philosophy that uses strategic planning, performance measurement and broad-based community engagement to build communities where everyone works together to make sure children thrive.