New community clinic provides oasis of health
By Tiffanie Reynolds
For Amy Files, a resident of Intercession City, the new community health and dental clinic doesn’t just mean convenience, but a place for both of her disabled twins to get care.
“It’s going to make it so that we don’t have to go forty five minutes to see a doctor,” Files said.
In the past, Files did not only have to go out of her way for care, but was turned away by doctors because one of her twins isn’t insured. Now she, as well as other residents in Campbell City and Intercession City, will finally be able to receive and afford that care, even if they don’t have insurance.
The new Community Health and Dental Clinic on 1703 Business Center Lane will have all of their services ready for operation Monday. With four patient rooms, four dental rooms, labs and financial offices, it will provide family planning, primary care for both children and adults and basic dental care, such as cleanings, x-rays and extractions, to all ages. It will also be able to treat residents with or without insurance, as those without insurance will pay based on a sliding fee scale through a clinic card.
The building was funded through a $900,000 New Access Point Grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration. Belinda Johnson-Cornett, director of Osceola County Health Department, applied for the federal grant after a study that the Florida Department of Health in Osceola County conducted showed that access to health care was the biggest need in the areas of Intercession City and Campbell City.
“It’s another area in the community that was underserved, and we’re looking to make sure that all of our county has access to health care. So, I’m excited about this, because we get to touch new areas, Campbell City and Intercession City, areas that are in need of health care. And it helps to expand our network though the county to just insure that the uninsured have a place to go. And, even for those insured to have a medical home as well,” Johnson-Cornett said.
It took a year and a half to construct the facility, with the county using community block grants to renovate the inside of the space that the county decided the clinic would use. During that time, a temporary clinic was set up beside the potential new space to still be able to provide medical services to the community. Only open three days a week, it served 130 residents every month. County Commissioner Michael Hartford, whose district includes the area, said that the permanent clinic would serve up to 640 residents a month.
“We got to meet some of the residents here, at Intercession City and Campbell, and they were really excited about opening up the clinic as well,” Sandra Dessin, senior clerk for medical and dental who also worked in the temporary facility, said. “Because, they said that they don’t have any medical services in this area. So, I feel that it’s really great we have a place for them now.”
This clinic in Intercession and Campbell City is the second community clinic in Osceola County to offer both medical and dental services. The community clinic in Poinciana was the first. The Osceola County Health Department already is looking into constructing another two-story building in Poinciana for medical services, and is in the process of applying for grants for the project.