UF Health Shands Hospital Patient Guide: Support Groups & Classes

Support Groups


Gator Amps Support Group

The goal of this group is to build a community of amputees who can support one another, learn from each other, and share stories and tips. Meets on the first Tuesday of every month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital.

Brain Injury/Trauma/Stroke/Spine

UF Health Shands Brain Injury Support Group

The UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital Stroke Support Group 

Meets every Thursday from 3:30 – 5 p.m. at ElderCare of Alachua County’s Senior Recreation Center. The Senior Center is located at 5701 NW 34th Street in Gainesville. This group welcomes anyone who has had a stroke, as well as family, friends and care providers. For more information, please call 352-627-0154.

UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital Aphasia Book Club

Meetings every other Wednesday at 5 p.m. at UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital. This support group is open to the public.

Please see the UF Health Calendar for specific dates and times.

UF Health Shands Rehab Young Adult Support Group

The UF Health Shands Rehab Young Adult Support Group meets once a month at a convenient location decided upon each month by the members. This support group provides a relaxed environment allowing young people and adolescents with medical illnesses or injuries to interact with others their age who have gone through similar situations.

Contact Nicole Ferrier at 265-5491 for more information or email ferrin@shands.ufl.edu.

Spinal Cord Injury Social Networking Group

The Spinal Cord Injury Social Networking Group meets once a month at a local restaurant. Members can share experiences and learn new ways to connect with others who have had similar injuries. 

Contact Amy Kinsey at 265-5491 or email kinsea@shands.ufl.edu for more information.

Support Group for Brain and Spinal Tumors

This group meets at HealthStreet the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 4pm starting August 15th, 2017.


We know that cancer can be more than a physical disease as it touches the deepest fears of patients and their families. For this reason, we provide information to lessen the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis. We encourage you to accept help when offered and to reach out for the support you need. Each individual will have different needs. What is meaningful to one person may be meaningless to another. We do know that it is helpful to discuss your concerns – whether it is to a friend, family member or spiritual advisor; in a support group of people going through a similar situation; or to yourself through a journal. Find the method that works best for you.

Children's Services

NICU Support Group - Sponsored by the March of Dimes

 This support group meets three times per week: 

  • Mondays and Wednesdays – support group 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.: Members may participate in a variety of activities, including scrapbooking, making the babies hats and making jewelry. All supplies are provided by March of Dimes.
  • Tuesdays @ lunch – 11:30-12:30: Lunch provided by Domino’s pizza, fruit, veggies and dessert.
  • All families currently in the NICU or have been in the NICU are welcome to attend. You and your family don't have to have a child currently in the NICU.
  • Location: Conference room by the NICU (room 3321); Free parking for patients; $10 parking in the UF Health Shands Hospital parking garage on Newell Drive.
  • Contact Judy Angley with neonatology and March of Dimes at 352-273-8976 for more information.


Students with Diabetes at the University of Florida

The UF Chapter of Students with Diabetes wants to simplify life with diabetes by giving you the knowledge and tools you’ll need to succeed and help you build connections with others.

Title Town Type 1 Online Support Group

If you live in Gainesville or the surrounding areas and have type 1 diabetes, are the parent, spouse, or loved one of a person with type 1 diabetes, consider joining the Title Town Type 1 Online Support Group. The group’s founder calls it “a sweet spot for people with type 1 diabetes and their families to get connected and share experiences.”

  • The group is currently meeting online, but there may be opportunities to meet “live” in the near future.
  • You will need to sign up for Google Groups to become a member.


The Laryngectomy Club helps patients with laryngectomy and their family, caregivers and friends better understand life after laryngectomy. For more information, please contact Amy Fullerton, M.A., C.C.C., speech-language pathologist, at 352-273-5871 or afullert@phhp.ufl.edu.


Centering Pregnancy – Group Prenatal Care

UF Health offers a model of group prenatal care to help reduce the risk of premature birth. The UF Health Women’s Center – Medical Plaza is the only Centering Pregnancy site in North Florida.

Pregnant women who wish to participate in the Centering Pregnancy model are grouped by their due dates. After a standard visit to their provider, the women join a group during their fourth month of pregnancy and meet monthly for 1.5-hour sessions. During these sessions, the women receive all the components of individual prenatal care. The women and their provider also discuss birth and newborn care as well as overall health and stress management.

Potential participants must select their provider from within the group of approved providers at UF Health Women’s Center and be less than four months pregnant. To participate, call 352-265-6200.


Adult Lung Transplant Support Group

  • This weekly support group is facilitated by UF Health Shands Transplant Center social worker, Micki Luck and co-facilitated by a transplant coordinator.
  • The group is open to patients with advanced lung disease, listed patients awaiting transplant and transplanted patients, as well as caregivers. We do require that our patients undergoing transplant evaluation testing attend support group the week they are here.
  • The group meets in the UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital on the 5th floor in the conference room nearest to 5 east. It begins at 3:45 p.m. until 4:45 to 5pm on every Wednesday.

Liver Support Group

  • The UF Health Shands Transplant Center Liver Transplant Program founded a support group that provides education and psychosocial support for patients who have liver disease and are awaiting liver transplants and who have been transplanted.
  • You may refer your patients to the Liver Transplant Program at (352) 265-0754 for the next scheduled meeting of the support group.

Weight Loss

Bariatric Support Group

Support group meetings are offered once a month and designed to assist in the lifetime journey of post-surgery weight loss. Each meeting will offer an educational topic followed by an opportunity for patients to share their success and pitfalls with fellow attendees.

Who is welcome to attend our bariatric support groups:

  • Weight-loss surgery investigators seeking information and the “real-story”
  • Pre-op patients waiting for weight loss surgery
  • Early post-op patients or “newbies”
  • Long-term veteran patients to support others and just checking in
  • Back on trackers seeking to re-lose pounds
  • Friends or family members
  • Professionals-medical or other