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UF receives Governor’s Savings Award for Jacksonville pediatric program

Published: March 1, 2013 By: Eric Lowe
David O. Childers, M.D.

The Department of Pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville has received the Florida Governor's Savings Award from Gov. Rick Scott for finding cost savings at the Jacksonville-based Northeastern Early Steps Program while maintaining the effectiveness of services.

The Governor's Savings Award recognizes state employees and private-sector affiliates who identify cost savings for state programs while maintaining or increasing their effectiveness.

"Through the dedicated efforts of the staff of the Northeastern Early Steps Program at the Pediatric Department of the University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville, significant savings in state dollars were made which resulted from increased efficiencies while increasing services to more children," said David Childers, M.D., a UF assistant professor of pediatrics and medical director of the Northeastern Early Steps Program. "This dedication to families of children with developmental concerns is the hallmark of this team of specialists and is reflective of the Department of Pediatrics."

Northeastern Early Steps is part of the statewide Early Steps program under Children's Medical Services. It is a family-centered program that provides services at no cost to families for infants and toddlers from birth to 36 months of age with developmental delays or conditions likely to lead to developmental delays.

Through coordination of support services, Early Steps empowers parents and caregivers with the tools and knowledge they need to enhance their children's development. Family members and other caregivers are shown how to build children's skills and abilities using the routines and activities that exist in everyday life. The Northeastern Early Steps program provides natural-environment services such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, case management, special instruction and assistive technology in Baker, Bradford, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties.

In a letter accompanying the award, Scott stated, "The college's innovative ideas and commitment to reducing costs for the State of Florida are greatly appreciated. You have so much to be proud of and it is my hope that you will continue to seek ways to improve the cost of delivering important services to the citizens of our state."

David O. Childers, M.D.

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