Miami-Dade, Fla. – As students across Miami-Dade County prepare to return to school on Aug. 17, physical examinations, immunizations, school supplies and educational resources are in high demand.

The Iota Pi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the Doris Ison Center of Community Health of South Florida, Inc. (CHI) hosted a Back-to-School Resource Fair for school-age youth of southern Miami Dade County.

At more than a dozen locations, CHI clinical providers administered physical exams and vaccines to kids returning to school during its annual back-to-school physicals event.

CHI is a nonprofit health care organization whose mission is to provide affordable, quality primary and behavioral health care services to the residents of South Florida. CHI provides school-based health services to 30+ school sites across the south Miami-Dade area and has served as a hub for primary care within the community since 1971.

Community partners such as TruConnect offered free tablets with internet connection to qualifying families to deter performance gaps due to lack of access to technology for students who come from low-income households. At select locations, Big Brother Big Sister Miami (BBBS) offers afterschool and one-on-one mentoring services for families.

At the conclusion of their visit, families at the Doris Ison Center were eligible to receive a backpack with school supplies, popcorn courtesy of Incredible Kettle Corn, and enter toy raffles sponsored by BBBS and Andante Bicycle Shop. Collectively, over 200 backpacks and school supplies packages were distributed amongst the community health center’s satellite locations.

In the late 1960s, Doris Ison – whom the flagship facility bares her name – saw a dire need for change in the healthcare system especially for African Americans and Mexican migrant farmworkers in South Dade. She took it upon herself to organize a group of people from her church and different organizations to provide healthcare services for people of all races at a time when Homestead hospitals were for Whites only.

From that vision and initiative, Community Health of South Florida has been able to offer a wide variety of medical services for more than 50 years.