Neighborhood Medical Center has been involved with FAMU for more than a decade, providing medical services and internship opportunities to FAMU students. It works closely with the nursing, pharmacy and allied health programs, as well as the social work program educating students, and giving them internship opportunities.
It also has a close collaborative relationship with FAMU Student Health Services, putting on events to inform students on the importance of safe sex and knowing their HIV status.
Free HIV testing, STD testing, and overall general medical needs are some of the many different services that Neighborhood Medical Center offers to FAMU students and the Tallahassee community.
According to Mathias Sweet, the Ryan White Program Director for Neighborhood Medical Center, it offers students a wide range of care at a low cost or free of charge. Their services are open to everyone ,and those without insurance will not be turned away.
If one doesn't have insurance, they are put on a sliding scale, fee, based off of income. They also have programs where the minimum fee could be $5 for medical services and $40 for dental services.
They offer primary care, diabetes education, gynecologist services, obstetrician gynecologist services, pediatrician services for those with children, and dental care. These services are provided at any of their five Tallahassee locations.
“Anything they do at a regular doctor office we do for people with and without insurance,” said Sweet.
When on campus at Set Rridays they encourage students to practice safe sex and get tested as frequently as every three months if they are sexually active. According to Joseph Ward, an outreach specialist for Neighborhood Medical Center, getting tested every three months is important but it is OK to get tested on an individual basis.
“The baseline is every three months that way you will know if anything is going on in your body,” said Ward.
The largest number of students tested at a Set Friday is 107 students; on average 30-40 students take advanrtage of the opportunity. According to Ward, FAMU students do a good job of getting tested and knowing their status, but if someone does test positive its is imperative that they have the proper resources and get care immediately.
Kevoughn Manning uses the resources that are provided from Neighborhood Medical Cente. The FAMU student says that the HIV testing and information that they provide are beneficial to him and his partners.
He tries to get tested at every Set Friday and informs his partners that they should get tested as well. Because he has learned from Neighborhood Medical Center activities he says that he now knows the do’s and don'ts when it comes to sex.
“Results can change at any time, so both male and females should use condoms because it could affect their health and future if they contracted something,” said Manning.
Neighborhood Medical Center staff sometimes go into classrooms and present sex education to students in their SLS classes and host their own health-awareness events.
During “Night Out With Bae” they dive into more than sex education.They talk about the different types of relationships and inform people on what an unhealthy relationship looks like.
Their goal with this event is to get people to understand that there are many alarming signs in relationships to look out for, and that it's not always the average physical abuse component that makes the relationship unhealthy. Those who attend are informed on other forms of abuse like mental, emotional or even financial abuse that take place.
The main goal at their events is to provide empowerment, according to Ward.
“We want to make sure students leave with as much information as possible so that they can use it to empower selves and know how to protect themselves in the future,” Ward said.