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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.

FIU Leads Study On Lead Exposure, Kids' Mental Health

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Tomás R. Guilarte is FIU’s incoming dean of the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work";s

A Florida International University dean will lead a study on the effects of lead exposure on children's mental health thanks to a nearly $3 million grant.
Tomas R. Guilarte has gained worldwide recognition over the past 20 years for his research into the devastating effects of environmental lead exposure, especially for children.

Lead exposure in children has been shown to lower cognitive function deficits, but much less is known about the neurological and mental health consequences when these children grow to be adolescents and young adults.

Guilarte's most recent studies indicate that early life lead exposure may lead to everything from lower IQ scores to schizophrenia in adolescence and adulthood.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that at least 4 million U.S. households have children that are being exposed to high levels of lead.