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Family Wellness and Health Education Center: A Community Needs Assessment

Grant Winners

  • Jennie Lou, M.D. – College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Steve Cohen, M.S., PA-C – College of Osteopathic Medicine


  • Anthony Silvagni – College of Osteopathic Medicine


The purpose of this proposal is to conduct a needs assessment to determine the critical healthcare needs of the people in the city of Port Antonio, Jamaica. The goal of this needs assessment is to provide valuable information for health researchers to clearly identify the healthcare priorities of the target population and create a new healthcare delivery program that addresses those needs in such a way as to make it more feasible, practical, and desirable for people to make healthcare a priority in their daily lives. This new healthcare delivery program will be the establishment of a comprehensive, clinical-wellness center that is directed at family wellness and health education. The establishment of a comprehensive wellness center will provide multiple health services in one setting, promote health education, and make the financial cost of care more manageable to the average citizen. It is also the goal of the comprehensive wellness center to enable the target population to be more proactive in their healthcare. Additional benefits will be reduced national healthcare expenditure for intensive care, improved social welfare and public health. As a major interest for both the Public Health program and Physician Assistants Department, the center itself will provide a setting for rural health research, program evaluation, and invaluable information and experiences for future health policies and initiatives directed at health issues on the island of Jamaica, and for similar situations on other Caribbean islands. In keeping with the mission of the University, "the enhancement of the well being of multicultural and under-served populations", this center will also provide opportunities for NSU to expand its already existing medical mission program in under-served countries, and establish a community service site for the entire Health Professions Division. Supporting research like this one in Jamaica will significantly enhance NSU's profile in the Caribbean region.

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