Thousands of low-income residents in Alachua County will have access to health services with the opening of a new clinic just southwest of Gainesville next summer.
The clinic, which will be a satellite site of the Alachua County Health Department (ACHD), is the result of a joint venture involving governmental, business and community partners and spearheaded by the non-profit Southwest Advocacy Group (SWAG), which already operates a family resources center across the street. More than 6000 citizens are expected to use the clinic each year.
“The need for health services in this area is well documented,” said Health Department Administrator Paul Myers. “We’re confident the clinic will result in better health outcomes and fewer trips to local hospitals and emergency rooms.”
The clinic will be housed in a building owned by Alachua County Government. The Board of County Commissioners has already committed $190,000 for renovations. The Rotary Clubs of Gainesville Foundation has committed another $60,000 to the project from the proceeds of its 2013 Wild Game Feast.
“This clinic will improve the quality of life for thousands of people who desperately need health services,” said Charles Allen, president of the Rotary Clubs Foundation. “It’s the perfect service project for Rotarians to embrace.”
The Health Department has also won a $300,000 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation, which will provide start-up funding for the clinic’s first three years of operation.
“With these investments, we’re targeting our resources to the communities that need them most,” said Susan Towler, vice president of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation. “This demonstrates our commitment to help people and communities in Florida achieve better health.”
SWAG Chairman Dorothy Benson praised the collaboration of service and advocacy organizations, public agencies and private foundations.
“It shows that Alachua County is a community where people and organizations are willing to come together to meet the needs of citizens,” she said.
For more information, contact Alachua County Health Department Administrator, Paul Myers at 352-334-8873, Southwest Advocacy Group Chairman, Dorothy Benson at 352-275-1177, or Blue Cross and Blue Shields of Florida, Khalila