Full article on Caribbean Today
This Ivy League grad came from humble beginnings. Graduating with a first degree from Princeton University and later attending Boston University Medical School, South Miami-based pediatrician Dr. Tina Carroll-Scott credits her altruistic values and success to his traditional Caribbean upbringing instilling discipline, concentration and generosity. She was born in upstate New York to a Jamaican mother and an American father, noting that she was much more influenced by the maternal side of the family. She spoke passionately about her recent trip to the island.
“One of the things that really touched me was the fact that I went to Jamaica for everything I love – the culture, the beauty of the island, the food, the people. But , the part I couldn’t ignore was the poverty and how many people are suffering,” Dr. Carroll-Scott lamented.
She noted that many schools in Jamaica have been negatively affected by COVID-19, which has left school children without even the basic necessities to continue learning. In fact, many rural homes had no facilities or the wherewithal to offer online support or courses.
A fundraising idea was born when the pediatrician returned to Florida and competed in a 5K run endorsed by Jamaica’s Consul General Oliver Mair. Why not create a 5K event specifically to raise money for schools in Jamaica, she thought.
She continued: “So how can I help in some way? How can I help school children to start this new school year, how can I make it a successful year I decided I wanted to raise money for the schools,” said Dr Carroll-Scott, who is now a proud Jamaican citizen.
Dubbed 5K Gallop, the race will be held on August 27, 2022 at the Miami Metro Zoo to raise funds and celebrate Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of independence. Participants can register online at 5Kgallop.org, come to the event in person, or donate to a school of your choice on the website.
“I thought it would be a great way to get people out, to raise money and also to commemorate Jamaica’s 60th birthday,” Carroll-Scott said energized.
The doctor’s benevolence extends far beyond fundraising. She began her medical career as a resident at the University of Chicago, where she met her husband who was also a resident at the same facility. Fate and choices would lead them to Florida where Car-roll-Scott had stints at Jackson Memorial and Miami Children’s Hospital.
found his voice
But it was her work with the Fort Pierce, Fla., Public Health Department where she found her “voice” serving migrant workers, primarily Haitians, and other underserved populations. It was through this work that the pediatrician was offered the position of Medical Director of the South Miami Children’s Clinic, where she is living her dream of giving back to others.
The clinic was developed, with support from South Miami Hospital and Baptist Health South Florida, to provide high quality medical care to uninsured/underinsured children living in South Miami, a predominantly African American working class community. with limited resources.
“Basically I was seeing patients who were uninsured, so it was a charity. I realized they couldn’t navigate the system to figure out how to get insurance like Medicaid, so I spent the first year or so helping them navigate that process and getting them insured.
What the medical director did was transform the nonprofit clinic into a hybrid model that allowed patients who purchased insurance to continue practicing. The clinic was initially set up to see only the uninsured. So once they started receiving insurance, they were no longer eligible to continue with the clinic.
“We were defeating the purpose of helping this community because if I put them on insurance they wouldn’t have a medical home. They would therefore find themselves either without care or using urgent care or the emergency room as their primary care. I wanted to keep them under one roof. My clinic is therefore unique in that it is a safety net.
Today, 15 years later, approximately 90% of Dr. Carroll-Scott’s young patients are insured. This means she doesn’t have to rely solely on grants and donations, but can also bill, with those dollars funneled back into the clinic to improve patient care.
“What makes the clinic work is this trust in me as medical director, they trust my vision and they support that 100%. They see the work I’ve done in the community, not just from a medical perspective, but on all of the social determinants of health,” Dr. Carroll-Scott explained.
She added: “I dig deeper to find out what is going on in their environment, such as housing insecurity, food insecurity, abuse in the household, whether it is domestic violence or child abuse. children. Once you dig a little deeper, you realize that it is the stressors of everyday life that cause the physical problems.
And COVID-19 has proven to be one of the biggest stressors. The pediatrician noted that mental health issues have become a major issue since the pandemic. The mother-of-three explained that anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation and even eating disorders are showing up in her young patients to a degree she has never seen in her 25 years of life. practice.
This medical lawyer continues to go beyond the call of her medical practice, reaching out to the community she serves by offering social and mental support. She has helped families find housing, intervened in cases of child abuse or helped children enter the school system.
“It’s about the relationships I have with these families. And I think it’s really essential that they trust me, especially during this pandemic… But, you know, I couldn’t accomplish anything that I do in my daily life without God as my foundation.
Republished with permission from Caribbean Today.