Frequently Asked Questions

Jacksonville Health and Transition Services (JaxHATS)

Here you will find a variety of frequently asked questions and their answers. Click on each question to view the corresponding answer.

About the JaxHATS Clinic

Do I qualify to receive services?

The JaxHATS clinic serves teens and young adults, ages 14 - 25, who have a chronic medical illness or a disability. The program is only for Florida residents living in Duval, Nassau, Baker, Clay and St. Johns counties.

Will you be able to treat my type of disability?

The program accepts teens and young adults, ages 14 - 25 who have chronic medical or developmental conditions including, but not limited to, spinal bifida, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophies/neuromuscular diseases and others. Please call the clinic to discuss your specific needs. (904) 244-9233

What is the first step?

Contact the clinic by phone at (904) 244-9233 to discuss your specific situation in order to be sure you qualify for the program. If you qualify, you can book an appointment, then you would need to fill out some forms and review the orientation material BEFORE your first visit.

How can I book an appointment?

Contact JaxHATS Transition Services:
Phone: (904) 244-9233
Fax: (904) 244-9234

What time are you open?

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00 p.m.
Clinics are held weekly

Where are you located?

Jacksonville Health and Transition Services
580 W. 8th St T-60
Jacksonville, FL 32209
Map & Directions

What do I need to bring to my first visit?
  • Please bring your medical insurance card
  • Letters or reports from your doctors and any health information you have, results from tests, etc.
  • Bring your current medications
  • Fill out and bring the forms you received in the mail. If you did not receive a registration packet in the mail, complete and bring the forms found here.
What will happen during my first visit?

We will ask for your consent to be involved in our program. (You have the right to access your own health information and to provide informed consent for your care.)

We will also:

  • Review any records you bring and/or any records we can get from past medical providers.
  • Do a complete history and physical. Review your medications and any information you can give us in advance.
  • Get an overview of your goals for the future. Review your active issues. Make a plan for addressing these issues together.
  • As needed, we will make referrals to medical or other specialists to address your needs.

You are the client. As such, we may see you on your own or, if you want, we will see you with your family or other supportive individuals. We also support family-centered care and involve your family (as defined by you) as much as possible. Also, with your permission and only as needed to help address your health needs, the team members may contact your school, counselor, or others involved in your life for information to assist us.

Will I come to the clinic after my first visit?

You and your family may have many visits as you work through your issues and concerns. Follow up appointments are made for you at the clinic discharge desk as you leave.

Also, if you give us permission, a member of our clinic team may contact you and/or your school to see how you are doing. We might send a letter about your care to you at your home. Also, with your permission, we will send a letter to the physician that referred you so he or she knows how you are doing.

I lost the forms you sent me, can I get another copy?

Yes, simply go to the forms page on this website or you can phone the (904-244-9233) clinic to request another copy.

What is a primary care clinic or a "Medical Home"?

JaxHATS is a "Medical Home" a place for you to get primary care from a multi-disciplinary team who will coordinate your medical care. We also make referrals to specialty physicians within this region and coordinate medical services while help you develop a care plan to best meet your long term health care needs. JaxHATS also helps you begin the process of transition from pediatric to adult-oriented medical services. This transition is typically a gradual process and you won't need to leave until you feel ready.
The decision to move to adult is a joint decision made by you, your family and the JaxHATS transition team. The length of the stay depends on you!

General Questions About Transition

What is health care transition?

It is the planned move from health services for children to health services for adults.

Why do we need to transfer young people at all?

There is much research to support why transition to adult health care is important. Here are some links to journal articles that explain some of these reasons. There are many more helpful websites on the Links page of this website.

Transition from pediatric to adult care. Bridging the gaps or passing the buck? .pdf (Adobe PDF Document)

Consensus Statement on Health Care Transitions for Young Adults with Special Health Care Needs .pdf (Adobe PDF Document)

Are you prepared for the transition?

A planned transition process is vital for the healthy psychological development of the majority of young people. The role of parents and/or caregivers is to assist young people become, as much as possible, happy, healthy, competent adults who can manage their condition as best as they can. This requires careful planning and a gradual transfer from dependence to independence. We are here to assist you and your family to prepare for this by looking at the following aspects of your care.

Please use the Transition Workbooks to help prepare for transition.

  • You and your Doctor: As you grow up it is important to increase your independence. This means developing the skills and confidence to talk to your Doctor on your own. We will ask you to start seeing the doctor on your own for part of the consultation. This helps you to understand and manage your condition and to increasingly take more responsibility for self care.
  • Medications: Older adolescents have also learned to be responsible for their own medications. Knowing the name of your medications, why you need them and how much you need to take is a great start. Taking them without a reminder from a parent or guardian is the next step.
  • Adolescence and your condition: It is important that you know about your condition and its effect on your growing, changing body. Perhaps there are some questions that you would like to have answered about this.

Please feel free to discuss these issues or any other concerns with the JaxHATS clinic staff.

When should transition begin and end?

The people in your health care team will usually start talking about your move to adult services when you are in high school, or when you are about 14 years old or close to when you are diagnosed (if you are an older adolescent). Transition is a process that occurs over many years. This allows time for you and your family to plan your future health care with your health team.

Transition ends when you have started seeing the adult health care professionals and have stopped seeing pediatric services. This usually occurs close to when you leave school. Some individuals may need more supports than are typically available in the adult health care system and thus find it difficult to fully transition. If you feel you or your child/dependent may need additional supports, please talk to our staff.

What do I need to think about when preparing to move from my pediatric service?

When moving from your pediatric service there are a number of things you need to keep in mind:

  • Learn about your condition, including: your medications, warning signs that you need to get some help and how to get help.
  • Understand what tests you need to have regularly, why and what the latest results were.
  • Become more independent around your health care needs. This includes making your own appointments, having some ‘alone time’ with your doctor, getting your prescriptions filled and maintaining any medical equipment you need.
  • Become more comfortable communicating with health care professionals, rather than relying on parents or caregivers to do all the talking. Practice asking your doctor questions and answering the ones they have.
  • Find out about how adult services are different to pediatric services. Start to check out the adult services in your area and what they can offer you. This can be done in consultation with your health team.
  • Enroll for your own Medicare Card and find out about private health insurance.
When should I start thinking about adult services that suit me?

It is always good to start thinking about the move early, to give you time to find the right service that suits your needs. This is not something that should be rushed!

Allow at least a couple of years to find the services that suit you. It does take time to find out what services are available in your local area and then pick the best one for you. Discussing this with your doctors is a good starting point.

What are my options?

Discuss the service options available to you with your pediatric service. Services can vary throughout the state and do vary between illnesses/conditions.

How do I find the right service/person for me?

After your first visit to JaxHATS you may feel that JaxHATS is not the right place for you. You do have the right to ‘shop around for a health care provider that meets your needs. The most important thing is to find a provider that has staff that make you feel comfortable and have the necessary expertise to assist you with your illness/condition.

Try asking your doctor for recommendations, or even other young people with similar conditions

What are the most important things to consider when checking out an adult service?

Here are a few points to keep in mind when searching for the right service:

  • Is it easy to get to an appointment at the service? (This will vary depending on whether you drive, catch public transportation and how far away you live).
  • What hours do they open? (This may be important if you have to fit your appointments around work or study)
  • Can you access the building safely? (Especially important if you use mobility aids)
  • Do you ‘connect’ and feel listened to by the staff? (This includes your doctor and clinical staff)
  • Has the service had any experience with young people with a similar condition/illness?
  • How quickly can you get into see a clinician once you phone up to make an appointment?
  • What options do they offer to pay for appointments and how much do they charge?
What are the differences between child and adult health care services?

There are many differences between child and adult health care settings. One main difference is the amount of independence you will be given. With independence comes the need to learn about your condition, speak up about any concerns you have and seek advice when you need it. As you become an adult you will be learning how to do more things for yourself and therefore not need a parent’s help as often. The adult services will treat you as an adult and will expect that you have some independence and are able to do many things yourself.

Many young people want to know in advance what to expect in the adult service so as to be better prepared. We have tried to list some of the differences for you.

Why is transition an emerging issue in health care?

Because of continuing improvements in medical technology, the life expectancy of individuals with childhood onset chronic health conditions has improved significantly. For example, while most children born with Cystic Fibrosis in the 1950's died in their infancy, children born today with CF can expect to reach their 40th birthday. Today, more than one-half of all the individuals in the U.S.A. with CF are over the age of 21. Likewise, the life expectancy for individuals with Sickle Cell Disease has improved dramatically. In the 1970's, Sickle Cell Disease was considered a disease of children and adolescents. Today, about 85% of children born with this condition are expected to reach age 21. At least 80% of children born with Spina Bifida are expected to celebrate their 21st birthday.

In recent years, many leading medical organizations on the federal, state and local level, have begun to address the issue of health care transition directly. In 2001, three leading medical societies - the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Physicians (which represents Internal Medicine) - endorsed a consensus statement on health care transitions for youth and young adults with special health care needs. This statement defines health care transition, discusses why planning for transitions is important now and identifies crucial first steps to ensuring successful transition to adult-oriented health care.