FORT MYERS, Fla .– Lee Health wants to set up health clinics, even mobile ones, in often neglected communities, all thanks to a federal grant.
Bob Johns, executive director of Lee Community Healthcare, told Fox 4 that they are excited about the opportunity.
“We are trying to strategically place our offices in the communities that need it most and this grant allows us to take the next step, which I call bringing the mountain or the service to the people.
This service Johns is talking about is made possible by a $ 3.2 million grant to Lee Health from the US Health Resource Services Administration.
Lee Community Healthcare does not move mountains, but provides health care to people who need it, but often cannot afford it.
“This will increase access primarily to primary care and it will do so for people who are mostly uninsured and who are low-income families,” Johns said.
He says the newly acquired money will allow Lee Health to drive mobile medical vans directly to communities in need.
In the case of larger communities like Dunbar, the plan is to expand the existing neighborhood medical center, to treat even the youngest bodies and minds, with specialists.
“A mental health care provider and family physicians will be able to take care of the children. Right now we’re dealing with teens, you know 12-13 year olds right through to adults, ”Johns said.
In the past year, Johns says their 14 outpatient centers saw 42,440 patients and of those patients, he says 9,124 or 21.5 percent of them were uninsured.
Johns told Fox 4 that nearly 90% of all patients last year were from low-income families.
He says this kind of need can be overwhelming for those providing treatment, creating gaps in care.
“Part of this is the result of an increased awareness that we have blind spots and trying to learn and try to resolve those blind spots,” Johns said.
With that in mind, he says the grant will also be used to build telemedicine centers where people can use computers to talk with doctors online.
Johns says it’s a process that requires constant communication and can involve a lot of late nights, but he says it’s worth it.
“I’d rather do that than come home at night and just … I think I did a great job when someone really didn’t get the care they needed,” he said. -he declares.