United for Community
Written by: Mirna Chamorro, Public Information Officer at Florida Department of Health, Seminole County
Since the beginning of 2015, the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County (DOH-Seminole) has partnered with The Sharing Center to serve the community’s uninsured, underinsured, homeless and at-risk populations. Through this relationship, an environment of accessibility to social and health services has been created to include: APRN exam, rapid HIV and STD testing, dental screenings, health screenings (blood pressure, glucose, hemoglobin, and cholesterol values), bus passes to facilitate transportation to referrals and additional medical appointments, immunization services, as well as referrals for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program, Health Link, True Health, Community Assistance, Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detention Program, Diabetes Education and Self-Management Programs, family planning, food pantries and other programs offered at DOH-Seminole and external agencies. Many have benefited from the services and heart felt stories include a victim of human trafficking who was helped and found temporary shelter.
Both agencies joined forces during the hepatitis A outbreak which started in 2018 and continued through 2019 to raise hepatitis A awareness and offer testing and vaccinations. Free hepatitis A vaccinations were provided to high-risk individuals at different sites throughout the county, including The Sharing Center.
In February 2019, The Sharing Center joined DOH-Seminole for a new collaboration. A ribbon cutting ceremony was celebrated to inaugurate the re-opening of the food pantry co-located within the health department, this time in partnership with The Sharing Center. The food pantry is open at the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County located at 400 West Airport Boulevard in Sanford on Thursdays from 4:00-5:30pm and has been able to distribute from March through December 2019 a total of 1,540 bags of food and 969 bags from January through November 2020.
Most recently, DOH-Seminole provided COVID-19 testing, hand sanitizers, masks and educational materials to encourage people to stay safe during this pandemic. This partnership has grown, and we are pleased to continue to work alongside a great partner that shares the dedication and commitment for a better and healthier Seminole County.