USF Health’s Keith Waters, a United States Army veteran and service coordinator for
the Bay Area Early Steps Program, is enhancing the lives of children by providing
crucial support to families and ensuring that every child receives the necessary interventions
for their growth and development through the USF Health Pediatrics Early Steps program.
For making a positive impact on children’s lives, a decade of service to families and children, and the significant role he has played in the success of the program, Waters earned recognition as Culture Champion and was presented with a USF Health Culture Coin by Charles J. Lockwood, MD, MHCM, executive vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine.
Early Steps serves as Florida's early intervention system, catering to infants and toddlers from birth to 36 months, who face substantial developmental delays, disabilities, or at-risk conditions. Their mission is to deliver a range of early intervention services, empowering families to nurture their child's inherent strengths and offering tailored support to address each child's distinct requirements.
“We make sure that they do not have any developmental delays, and make sure that they grow and develop the way they are supposed to, then we assist the families with a coaching model to teach the parents strategies to enhance their development further," Waters said.
“I believe that every child has the ability to learn, no matter what capacity, that's why I do it,” Waters said. “I am just a military guy trying to help and I have been helping people since serving my country and giving back all my life.”
"“I really appreciate them for the love that they gave me today and I'll always take
that with me,” Waters said. “It is just a joy to see kids excel based on our services.”
Story and photos by Ryan Rossy, USF Health Communications and Marketing