NewsHillsborough County


Free clinics filling up fast with the influx of families moving to the Bay Area from Puerto Rico

Posted at 5:27 PM, Jul 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-25 17:27:25-04

Tampa, Fla. — It's almost time for a new school year for thousands of Bay Area students. Several organizations have partnered with school districts and the health department to offer free vaccinations and checkups to low-income families. 

This is done every year, but officials say they are backed up this year. One of the reasons for that is the influx of people who moved here from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. 

"We are prepared," Tina Young, the executive director of Project Link said. "We have teamed up with a lot of medical partners who are helping us." 

Young says Project Link and the Hillsborough County Back to School Coalition have offered the free clinics for 13 years. She said they usually see about 1,300 students, but they expect that number to go up this year. 

"It is a lot that's why we're encouraging families to register so we can make sure we have enough people and supplies," said Young. 

We found out several other counties in our area are dealing with this too. 

The Pinellas Co. health department told ABC Action News that they're just about full for the rest of their free clinics. 

Young is confident that they'll be able to help all the families who need it this year. But they are already talking about next year, and how many more families will be in need then. 

"We are always seeking support from our community to assist us," she said. "Any support that anyone would like to give or even volunteer." 

For more information about some of the free clinics in the area click the links below:

Hillsborough County 

Manatee County

Pasco County 

Pinellas County