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Every day, hundreds of sick and injured patients walk into free and charitable clinics around the Tampa Bay area in need of a doctor.Many are suffering from chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Some patients were referred to the clinics by staff at hospitals where they landed after years of neglecting to care for treatable conditions.The clinics allow the patients to pay what they can, or nothing at all. They are staffed by doctors and nurses who volunteer their time. They survive off donations and small grants.Many of the patients have jobs but they are living paycheck to paycheck. None have health insurance, either because they do not qualify for Medicaid or can’t afford private coverage. For these patients, the clinics are often their only option for primary care.

State Universities Want More Money For Law Enforcement, Mental Health Services

The State University System of Florida’s Board of Governors is asking state lawmakers to give them funding for more law enforcement and mental health counseling positions.

Proponents said the roughly $20 million would make state campuses safer.

The Board of Governors’ request said more law enforcement is needed on state campuses. It highlights two active shooter cases over the last two years.

Most Florida colleges are requesting more law enforcement. But the University of Central Florida is asking for the biggest boost with 25 new positions. It’s recommended to have 2 officers per 1,000 students.

For mental health, 10 of the 12 state schools have more students per one professional staff member than what is recommended by a mental health accrediting organization.

Florida Gulf Coast University’s Vice President for Student Affairs Mike Rollo said there’s a growing demand for mental health services.

“The type of student that’s coming to colleges today across the country has put enormous pressure on counseling centers throughout the United States - not just here - and it’s been really dramatic over the last three years so it’s caught everyone by surprise,” he said.

The University of Central Florida is also asking for the biggest boost in this realm. They’re looking to add 12 more positions.

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.