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Friday, October 16, 2020
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A Vision of Florida KidCare for All Gadsden Children

Out of Florida’s 67 counties Gadsden ranks number 63 for health outcomes according to County Health Rankings & Roadmaps’ 2019 Summary, a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). And, 6% of children here under age 19, 572 kids, have no health insurance at all.

Gadsden County School District is working to improve those numbers, especially for children, through boots-on- the-ground outreach to parents with information about Florida KidCare. The idea is to target parents at back to school events such as Parent Expos, Title I and School Advisory Council meetings. The District recently secured a grant from Florida Healthy Kids Corp. to fuel outreach initiatives to build awareness and boost enrollment in the Florida KidCare health insurance program.

In Gadsden County, 38% of children under age 18 live in poverty, according to the RWJF project; Florida's average is 21%. Those Gadsden children, and more, qualify for free or low-cost health insurance through Florida KidCare, and Israel wants families to know about it.

“Our children can be covered from zero to age 18,” Israel said. “They can have vision, medical and dental coverage. If parents can’t afford insurance, KidCare can help. Kids are covered from head to toe.”

Israel is making the rounds, presenting at all Title 1 parent meetings at Gadsden schools. He and Joanette Thomas, Supervisor of Title 1 Programs and Israel’s boss, are reaching out so all parents know about Florida KidCare.

“Our teachers even take advantage of KidCare for their own children,” Thomas said. Because fees are income-based, many teachers qualify for services and enrollment is always open.

The County Rankings & Roadmaps project defines health outcomes as the combination of length and quality of life. Outcomes are determined by health policies and procedures as well as health factors; health factors are determined by behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment.

RWJF’s County Rankings & Roadmaps project touts the tagline Building a Culture of Health, County by County. Gadsden County School District is in step with that vision, working for better health outcomes for all children.


For information or to enroll in KidCare, contact Elijah Israel at

The 2019 County Health Rankings Key Findings Report can be found at

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