Medical Care for the Indigent opens 13th location in Polk County

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Davenport is the newest location of a clinic run by Central Florida Health Carea nonprofit organization that provides affordable health care to the uninsured and underinsured.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held August 24 at 130 Ridge Center Drive in Davenport. The new location is Polk County’s 13th and overall is CFHC’s 15th location in Florida, according to a news release.

“We don’t turn anyone away for services so anyone can use our clinics for health care,” CFHC CEO Ann Claussen said in a recent phone interview. “We serve all people of all ages.”

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The brand new facility in Davenport offers medical, dental, pediatric, gynecological and pharmaceutical services to anyone in need of care, regardless of ability to pay.

The organization also offers an on-site social worker to help with financial aid and other needs.

In addition to the 13 Community Health Centers in Polk County, there are also unique locations in Highlands and Hardee counties.

“What started with a doctor and nurse in Frostproof, Florida is now a thriving nonprofit with more than 500 employees,” the statement said. The organization is celebrating its 50th year of delivering “healthcare with a heart”.

Central Florida Health Care operates 14 clinics in Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties.  Nine of the clinics contain pharmacies.

The first clinic served families at the Frostproof Minute Maid facility and later at the Coca Cola factory with a doctor and nurse, Claussen said.

Ahead of the November 2016 ballot to renew the county’s half-cent indigent health care sales tax, the county said the tax generates $35 million to $40 million each year.

The tax will remain in place until 2045 and was first approved by voters in 2004.

As of 2016, the money had helped about 43,000 people receive health services through the county’s Polk HealthCare plan and community partners such as CFHC and others.

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The CFHC also has mobile clinics

CFHC also has mobile clinics and helps feed thousands of families at 10 different food distribution sites. The mobile clinics helped distribute COVID vaccines and boosters in partnership with local churches, which included approximately 22,000 COVID tests administered.

The clinical sites are partially funded by the federal government and also rely on community partnerships, including those with United Way of Central Florida, the George W. Jenkins End Hunger Initiative, Freedom Tours and Feeding Tampa Bay, according to the release.

Due to growth in Polk County, the group said there are plans to expand Frostproof, Lakeland and Winter Haven Community Health Center locations in the future.

Founded in 1972, Central Florida Health Care is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving the Polk, Highlands and Hardee communities. His patients include seniors on fixed and Medicare incomes, migrant workers and the homeless, among other low-income workers.

Paul Nutcher can be contacted at [email protected]

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