Putting Families First (PFF)

Putting Families First is a course with teams of University of Florida students from different health professions that make regular in person home visits to the volunteer families’ homes to help determine ways for the families to maintain or improve their health. The central theme of the course is learning as a team about the impact of resources and environment on health status.  Students will learn to conceptualize family health beliefs and behavior from a biopsychosocial framework, and they will learn to assess family health care needs and health care access through an interprofessional lens.

Students from different healthcare majors will be paired with a volunteer or family in our community. These students will make in person home visits to volunteers in order to help with ways to keep them healthy. 

make a referral today

Know someone interested in participating?

If someone you know would benefit in participating in the program call (352) 273-5320.

PFF Student

Project Participants and Structure

Putting Families First program includes small group discussions and home visits with volunteers. The program includes students and faculty from the colleges of dental, public health and health professions, nutrition program at the institute for food and agricultural services, medicine, nursing, veterinary medicine and pharmacy students. Students will work in interprofessional teams of four making home visits with volunteer families residing in the community.

Small Group Discussions . Discussion groups include approximately 12-16 students from the eight colleges and two to three group faculty leaders. Discussion groups will meet three times in the first semester and three times in the second semester. Discussions involve content to orient students to multidisciplinary points of view on healthcare, family life-span topics, communication and interviewing skills, and simple physical assessment skills. Home visits will be debriefed during small discussion group meetings.

Doing Home Visits . The primary feature of this project is the opportunity for students to visit community families who volunteered for this project. The families provide a real-life exposure to aspects of health status, including the assessment of resources available to the family from the community.  The service-learning aspect of the course involves determining ways for families to either maintain or improve their health status and providing this for the family.  This may include health education, helping obtain access to care, developing a simple exercise program or diet, or describing what some families do to maintain their health.

Project Goals

  • To explain how cultural, social, economic and political determinants affect individual, animal and population health
  • Use the knowledge of one’s own role and those of other professions to address the healthcare needs of populations and patients served
  • To propose a patient-centered interprofessional health improvement plan based upon the patient’s perceived needs
  • To communicate with other health professionals in a respectful and responsible manner
  • To demonstrate interprofessional teamwork in a variety of roles (e.g., team member, team leader, and role model)
  • To advocate a patient-centered approach in healthcare
  • To recognize the importance of interprofessional collaboration in healthcare.

Project Objectives

  • Communicate and collaborate professionally and therapeutically with community volunteer families and with students from different health care professions.
  • Develop skills in eliciting perceptions of health from community volunteer family members.
  • Demonstrate ability to collect a culturally sensitive and comprehensive health history including mood, medication and nutritional assessment.
  • Collect selected physical assessment data.
  • Evaluate health behavior and develop a wellness prescription and risk assessment for one of the family members in the volunteer family.
  • Develop a basic understanding of life-cycle development issues and apply concepts of family systems in the required interviewing, data collection and wellness prescriptions.
  • Develop a basic understanding of the features of the community in which the volunteer family resides as they relate to support structures, resources, and access to health care.
  • Present synthesized information related to the health of the volunteer in an integrated logic.
  • Initiate a wellness prescription for your identified family volunteer, or develop a paper discussing other aspects of health and health behavior in your family.