Healthy education programs and specialist medical care now unified at Naples Neighborhood Health Clinic

The Neighborhood Health Clinic has completed an expansion of nearly $ 13 million to serve as a comprehensive medical center for low-income and uninsured residents of Collier County.

The multi-phased expansion that started in 2017 ended with the official opening of the Van Domelen education and wellness building on November 9.

The event also marked the end of the $ 12.8 million fundraising campaign to meet growing community and patient needs with more space and outpatient services, as well as expanded educational programs on healthy lifestyles.

Founded in 1999 by Nancy Lascheid and her late husband, Dr. William Lascheid, the clinic provides medical and dental care to adults aged 19 to 64 who contribute $ 20 per month instead of being billed.

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The clinic opened in a given space in 1999 with eight patients. Today, it has 15,000 patients in its database, manages over 11,000 patient visits per year and performs over 27,000 procedures per year.

The clinic includes 32,000 square feet of build space. The address is 88 12th St. N.

About 188,000 adults in Collier County are between 19 and 64 years old and 16.5% do not have health insurance, according to the Health Planning Council of Southwest Florida.

The clinic estimates that 50,000 adults in Collier are eligible for its services. This is based on a study from Hodges University which determined that 46,477 people aged 18 to 64 in Collier lived in poverty in 2013 and did not have health insurance.

In 1999, when the clinic’s plans were announced, Collier’s population was 207,000, according to US Census data. The Lascheids estimated in 1999 that 30,000 to 35,000 people were aged 19 to 64, low income and uninsured.

Leslie Lascheid, CEO of the clinic and daughter of its founders, said the completed project meets her parents’ vision to provide a full range of outpatient services so that patients have the ease of getting the medical care they want. need without having to take several days off. of their jobs.

Patients can get x-rays, mammograms, gynecologic services, cardiac care and dental services, which also reduces their time away from their families, she said.

“Twenty-two years after my parents and a few of their colleagues started the Neighborhood Health Clinic, we have far exceeded their expectations for what a comprehensive health center for the uninsured workers of Collier County could be, as we continue to improve services to respond to constant changes. needs, ”she said in a statement.

The clinic is run by volunteers with 400 healthcare professionals donating their services and 300 non-medical volunteers leading the operation. There are a total of 20 full-time and part-time employees.

To benefit from any of the clinic’s services, patients must live in Collier and work at least 80 hours per month. They cannot receive government benefits such as Medicaid or Veterans Benefits.

The clinic’s annual operating budget is $ 2.7 million, which is fully funded by individual donations, grants from foundations, businesses and civic organizations. He does not accept any government assistance.

The expansion of the footprint was made possible by the 2014 purchase of two acres south of the original clinic building which is on Goodlette-Frank Road north of Central Avenue.

Previous phases of the expansion included an addition of 8,400 square feet for more dental and radiology services and the renovation of the existing space.

The third phase was the addition of the Armstrong Medical Building with 8,000 square feet of space for specialty services, including cardiology, gynecology, ophthalmology and ear, nose and throat services.

The new 7,400 square foot education and wellness center expands wellness programs so patients learn how they can be healthier. The center includes a demonstration and teaching kitchen.

It is named in recognition of the $ 3 million donation from the Bill and Julia Van Domelen Foundation to the fundraising campaign.

The programs focus on stress management, smoking cessation, blood pressure management, breast health, diabetes care and pain management.

The Southwest Florida branch of the American Heart Association has stepped in with grants in the form of goods and services – including devices donated to patients such as blood pressure cuffs, blood glucose monitors, and pedometers – and with donations of healthy food, said Nancy Lascheid.

On Wednesday morning, the Heart Association delivered large boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables, she said.

“They would line the boxes against the wall in the reception room and the patients would take an entire box,” she said.

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