Putting Families First

Prografinished logom Overview:

Interdisciplinary Family Health (IFH), now renamed Putting Families First is a program with teams of University of Florida students from different health professions that make regular visits to the volunteer families’ homes to help determine ways for the families to maintain or improve their heatlh.

Students cover dental, medical, mental health, nursing, nutrition, pharmacy, physical therapy, rehabilitation, social support and animal health needs.  Please click link for additional information.

How it works:

Students from different healthcare majors will be paired up with a family of volunteers.  These students will make home visits to family volunteers and work in small group sessions in order to help with ways to keep them healthy.  Students will make three to four home visits during the program.


Volunteer Benefits:

  • Receive free health consultations with student health care professionals
  • Share personal experiences and concerns about the health care system
  • Assist in the education of health professions students

What Volunteers have said about the program:

  • “The contact with the students is personal, I feel comfortable talking with the students about my health and asking them if they wouldn’t mind researching this or that for me.”
  • “I participated because the University of Florida is important to me.  My family’s been a part of it for many years.  I think we all have an obligation to do what we can to support the University and it interested me.”
  • “I get very few visitors and so having the student come and visit is a real delight and I look forward to it a lot.”
  • “It’s intriguing to talk to students about my medical history and to teach them about what it’s like to be a patient.”
  • “It’s a learning experience for the students to get out into the community to see how people live.  And for me, I’ve seen some positive changes in my physical health.”

Volunteer Requirements:

Volunteers must:

  • Live in or near Alachua County;
  • Be accessible by phone;
  • Accept students into their home four times thoughout the year

Volunteers are expected to invite students into the family and home and discuss the family members’ health information.  Family’s will maintain a steady communication with students and help students learn by providing them with feedback on health related issues.

Interested in participating?

If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the program Putting Families First, please fill out and send
Intake Form to PO Box 100291 Gainesville, FL  32610 or call (352) 273-5320 if you have any questions.

Student experience with the PFF program:

The POST: The Dream Team –
The Interdisciplinary Health Course, one example of how UF is training health science students to work together… http://post.health.ufl.edu/the-post-february-2011/

How College of Medicine students give back with this program:  .COM Insider: College of Medicine students, faculty and staff give back – http://news.medinfo.ufl.edu/articles/staff/college-of-medicine-students-faculty-and-staff-give-back/

History of PFF course:

PFF is a course constructed around the shared mission of collaborative training, discussion meetings and home visits with volunteer community families. The program’s initial learning objectives were focused on core curriculum areas that exist in most healthcare disciplines: interviewing skills, family systems, access to health care, community resources, and preventive medicine. Expansion of the course allowed the introduction to content areas such as teamwork and teambuilding, cultural issues in health care and patient safety. The course in 2011-12 includes 617 students, 125 faculty and over 210 local volunteer families and lasts one academic year. A history of the course and the Office can be found here (Academic Medicine Vol 80 No 4 April 2005).