Looking back on 2017, I am amazed at how quickly it arrived and a little shocked that it’s almost over. To paraphrase the saying, time really flies when you are busy (and having fun). And at Health Care Center for the Homeless (HCCH), we have been very busy and, on occasion, having fun because we love what we do. Caring for more patients each year, our staff has grown to over 150 individuals throughout all our program areas and Orange Blossom Family Health service sites.
Thinking about 2017, here are two of the highlights for HCCH:
In March of 2017, we took over as the health care provider at the Evans Wellness Center on the campus of Evans High School. We are currently providing primary medical care for students and community members and hope to implement dental services within this location in 2018. One of our mobile dental unit is helping to fill this gap on a limited basis, but we look forward to having fixed dental services at this location in the near future.
Just under two weeks ago we opened our first pediatric site, Orange Blossom Pediatrics. Located on the campus of the Orange County Public Schools Academic Center for Excellence (ACE), this new site will provide comprehensive medical and dental care for children and youth. We are so excited about our first pediatric location and our partnerships within ACE and beyond. Orange Blossom Pediatrics is home to eight medical exam rooms and eight dental operatories. Medical services are underway and dental services are expected to begin in February 2018.
There are now six Orange Blossom sites in Orange County and one each in Osceola and Seminole Counties. Along with our mobile medical and dental units, we are able to reach so many community members in need throughout the tri-county area we serve. Access to care is key in addressing the needs of uninsured and under-insured residents.
Moving into 2018, we have two exciting occasions to look forward to right off the bat:
Health Care Center for the Homeless will celebrate 25 years of service next year. Yes – we will be a quarter of a century old in May of 2018. Hard to imagine that we were once an evening medical clinic at a local homeless shelter with just two exam rooms when you look at all we do now. Growth and progress – so exciting!!
2018 will also see HCCH breaking ground on a new comprehensive health center in the 32811 Zip code. Orange Blossom Family Health in the Ivy Lane community will feature 15 medical exam rooms, eight dental operatories, behavioral health services and an on-site pharmacy. And we literally get to watch this health center develop from the ground up. We should be breaking ground in the first quarter of 2018, with completion anticipated before the end of the year.
I could go on, but I will stop there for now.
At Health Care Center for the Homeless, we believe quality health care services are everyone’s right and should be universally accessible. The generosity of our community all year long helps us to accomplish our mission “to provide quality health care services that improve the lives of the homeless and medically indigent people of our community.” If you would like more information about the initiatives listed above or maybe you have just made the decision to support HCCH, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (407) 428-5751 Ext. 326. Please get in touch if you would like a tour, have questions, or just to say hi.
Thank you so much for your support – financially, in-kind and as advocates for the work we do and those we care for. It does take a village. We appreciate your commitment to help us improve our patients’ health and their lives.
Happy New Year!!
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Health Care Center for the Homeless, please click here.