Collier neighborhood clinic filling in the healthcare gaps

Lee Herald Favicon 16We all see health clinics popping up around Lee and Collier county, but people fail to see all the services being provided for the surrounding community.

Founded by Dr. Bill and Nancy Lascheid in 1999, the Neighborhood Health Clinic was created to deliver quality medical and dental care to low-income, working but uninsured Collier County adults, using a volunteer professional staff and funded solely by private philanthropy. All medical and dental professionals caring for patients have active Florida-licenses.

The Neighborhood clinic isn’t state funded, yet has an annual budget of $2,400,000 funded completely through individual donations, foundations, grants, businesses, religious and civic organizations; such as United Way and Community Foundation. While local health care facilities only provide for pregnant women and children, HIV, AIDS and Tuberculosis, Collier County’s neighborhood clinic provides services to more than 50,000 uninsured workers living in the area.

“I’m a Clinic graduate, because they helped me with my sickness, I improved and was moved to a higher level job. I’m a regularly paid employee now with insurance. Because of the Clinic’s care my life just gets better and better,” Eddy, a patient, said.

The $2.4 million budget goes towards providing care for more than 200 patients a week, providing more than 10,000 patient visits with working, uninsured men and women in fiscal year 2017, with 27,065 patient procedures in the same year.

Open Monday through Friday, Collier’s neighborhood clinic is able to provide more than just aid to those in need. The neighborhood clinic also has an onsite medication room, allowing patients to leave appointments with their non-narcotic medications, increasing adherence and improving health outcomes. They also provide patient education and research projects to increase patient knowledge about living a more healthy lifestyle and specific gene-related diseases that could affect patients in the future. Educational and research projects include: diabetes self-management, healthy lifestyles, breast health awareness, smoking cessation, pain management, colon cancer screening and hepatitis c treatment and support.

90 cents of every dollar donated goes towards patient services without any form of government funding, government grants or patient reimbursement.

The neighborhood clinic is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of community leaders and supported by Ambassadors, Stewards and Next Generation committees, the paid staff account for only 4 percent of the total 500-person workforce and medications are sourced through samples from doctors’ offices, pharmaceutical companies’ Patient Assistance Programs (PAP) and purchased at a discount bulk rate. The services provided to uninsured members of the workforce are privately ran through donations, providing educational and physical services to those in need at little to no cost.

The transparency and services provided by the neighborhood clinic provide a trusting and reliable source of medical care to those who don’t have access to it.

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