Charleston Promise Neighborhood doctor addresses health care needs in schools

Written by Amanda Cote

On December 5, 2013
Dr. Randazzo with a patient at Mary Ford Elementary

Dr. Randazzo with a patient at Mary Ford Elementary

Dr. William Randazzo greets his next patient with a smile and compliments the child’s mohawk.

The patient, an elementary student from a Charleston Promise Neighborhood school, smiles back and steps onto a scale to have his weight and height taken.

“That’s an inch, at least, there,” says Randazzo, jokingly referring to the child’s added height.

Randazzo is a volunteer Medical Director for the Charleston Promise Neighborhood and a pediatrician at MUSC. The level of care and concern he provides to the students exceeds expectations. Parents welcome Randazzo’s easy going nature, his clear compassion for children, and his patience to explain and manage a particular health concern. Charleston Promise Neighborhood considers him an advocate for improving health outcomes for children in our community, as seen with his recent nomination and Charleston Regional Business Journal’s 2013 Healthcare Heroes award.

Randazzo began his volunteer work with Charleston Promise Neighborhood (CPN) in 2011 to help establish four school-based pediatric clinics, also known as KidsWell, at Chicora School of Communications, James Simons Elementary, Mary Ford Elementary, and Sanders-Clyde Creative Arts School.

Visiting the schools twice a week, Randazzo compassionately spends time with students with general health concerns, wellness visits, and chronic illnesses. After his volunteer shift, you will find the faithful doctor at MUSC’s Emergency Care Clinic in Mount Pleasant and North Charleston from 4 to 11 p.m.

Dr. Randazzo with CPN's nurse and staff at the 2013 Health Care Heroes Ceremony

Dr. Randazzo with CPN’s nurse and staff at the 2013 Health Care Heroes Ceremony

“The Charleston Promise Neighborhood clinics I work in help remove barriers to care, such as transportation, job constraints and child care,” Randazzo said. “In this community – although most students have insurance – getting to a doctor may be difficult. By having a health clinic on-site at school, it is a great benefit to families.”

All students can access the CPN KidsWell clinic, regardless of insurance status. The clinic’s convenience ensures children are healthy and ready to learn, and significantly keeps down cost to the family and the community. A visit to the clinic cost CPN roughly $35.00 compared to a $500-$600 visit to the emergency room.

“Schools are powerful places to shape the health, education and well-being of our children,” Randazzo said. “It’s why I do the work that I do. It’s why I dedicate my time working in a school-based health center.”

Charleston Promise Neighborhood’s KidsWell program is integral to achieving two of our six strategic focus areas for transforming the neighborhood within a generation: education and healthcare.