The Jacksonville Health and Transition Services, or JaxHATS, program at UF Health Jacksonville was created to help teens and young adults with disabilities or special health care needs transition from pediatric to adult-oriented health care.
The program serves patients ages 13 to 23 by educating them on medication management, health insurance, vocational rehabilitation opportunities and more. The goal is to help patients feel ready to take on the world against all odds with the untethering support of the clinic and their family members.
About six months to a year before the patient’s 23rd birthday, staff members begin preparing them to transfer from our clinic to an adult primary care provider. The JaxHATS staff members play an important role in the transition and help create a unique experience for each patient.
Providing Comprehensive Care
Each year, JaxHATS celebrates the patients in their program who are graduating from high school or college to mark this notable milestone in their lives. During 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented patients from receiving the graduation they deserved, so the JaxHATS team organized a graduation drive-up event. Staff members traveled to each patient’s home and celebrated with music, posters and decorations. This started a new annual tradition, and now they celebrate graduating JaxHATs patients every year.
This past June, the JaxHATS team members hopped in their cars to celebrate the 2022 graduates. Each graduate received a JaxHATS certificate of accomplishment and graduation love, and they even got to choose their own song as staff drove up to their house. The graduates and their families celebrated the exciting milestone by taking photos and dancing.
“Our patients face so many complex medical challenges and graduating is a testament of their resilience, so we want to celebrate that accomplishment,” said Chanda Jones, a case coordinator with the UF Health JaxHATs program.
This event is just one example of the comprehensive care JaxHATS staff provides to their patients. Learn more about the JaxHATS program at UFHJax.org/jaxhats.