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Support free, charitable clinics

Monday, May 1, 2017  
Posted by: Christina Swiridowsky
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Support free, charitable clinics

Miami Herald

By: Mavalee Taylor

http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article147022244.html

Every year, Florida’s free and charitable clinics serve the medical needs of tens of thousands of low-income, uninsured, and underserved Floridians.

As an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) at the Good News Care Center, I meet people locally who need healthcare on a frequent basis. These people directly benefit from their free medical and dental services provided at clinics such as ours.

In some cases, help means a long-awaited tooth extraction or management of an acute or chronic illness . In other cases, the treatment received is life-saving and life-altering. Having access to primary care for these patients helps reduce overuse of emergency rooms for primary care, as well as hospital readmissions.

This year, the Good News Care Center received $235,800 in support from the Florida Legislature. Among other projects, this money has allowed us to keep a full-time medical director and ARNP on staff, and to continue coordinating the medical volunteers who help us serve our community.

Continuing to fund Florida’s free and charitable clinics is an effective way to help people be healthier, independent, and contributing members of our community, while decreasing overall health costs by preventing avoidable hospitalizations.

By maintaining in 2017 the $10 million in funding allocated in 2016, the Florida Legislature will allow organizations like ours to continue to offer free and reduced services for those in need, both locally and throughout the state.

The staff and volunteers of Florida’s state network of clinics are the very backbone of affordable indigent care, and our efforts are only possible through support from the state. We hope we can count on continued support from the Florida Legislature in 2017.

Our patients depend on that support, and on us.

Mavalee Taylor, ARNP

Good News Care Center,

Homestead


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