Central Florida Healthcare Opens New Community Health Clinic At Crystal Lake Elementary
by James Coulter
Are you feeling sick? Can’t tell if you have a cold or the flu? Need to see a doctor but don’t know if you can afford a visit? No problem! Just visit the new community health clinic in Lakeland.
Located at Crystal Lake Elementary, this new health clinic provides quality, accessible primary healthcare services for everybody in the local community, regardless of whether they are insured, uninsured, or under-insured migrants.
“Our health centers serve all who seek our care regardless of ability to pay,” their website states. “Our centers rely on subsidies from federal, state and local governments to help cover the cost of services furnished to the uninsured. No individual or family is turned away or denied medical care because of income.”
Whether you need a routine checkup or a health screening, your visit will be charged based on your ability to pay based upon a sliding fee scale, developed using the federal poverty guidelines.
The clinic was created through a partnership with the elementary school and Central Florida Health Care, a non-profit organization that operates 14 other similar clinics within the county, including in Winter Haven, Dundee, Lake Wales, Haines City, Frostproof, and Mulberry.
The first day for the clinic seeing patients will be on Tues., May 21. The clinic will then be open every Tuesday and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. As demand for their services grows, they expect to start opening full-time, said Ann Claussen, Central Florida Health Care CEO.
The clinic was officially dedicated to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday afternoon, hosted by the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce.
Claussen expressed how “super excited” she and her staff was to open this new clinic, the 14th clinic that they have opened and operated. Being able to open it on a school campus was especially great for them, as it will better allow them to serve the local community, she said.
“To say my heart is full is an understatement,” she said. “This is just amazing. It just hit me today, coming out and seeing how this all came together. And it couldn’t happen without all the partners…[I]t has been truly amazing to see this come together.”
Kristan Fowler, Principal of Crystal Lake Elementary School, mentioned how the clinic was one of many new programs she has been able to implement since joining the school nearly a year ago. Under her leadership, she has seen the school grow and flourish, and she hopes to continue see it do so within the near future.
“We started as a D and worked our way to a C,” she said. “We are going for that A slowly but surely. I do praise the Lord for every family and partner here, because there is no ‘I’ in team, we are truly a family here at Crystal Lake Elementary School.”
Weymon Snuggs, Chamber of Commerce Board Member, mentioned how the new clinic provided great opportunities for local residents, especially in terms of helping meet their healthcare needs. Such opportunities reflect the vision that the Chamber seeks to implement within Lakeland each and every day, he said.
“This is a great day for Lakeland and our community because it is a great day for the citizens who live, work, and play up here,” he said. “Our Chamber Of Commerce is always working hard every day to improve the quality of life within our community for both businesses and individuals who live, work, and play here, so it is natural for us to be extremely excited about it.”
Sheriff Grady Judd served as a special guest that day. Being able to see a new clinic open to help the local community as he himself helps it was nothing short of a privilege for him.
“Central Florida Health Care is giving hope,” he said. “This community gives hope. These teachers give hope. And I can tell you that I am the example. You can have hope. You can turn it into a dream and make it successful. I am thankful for everyone at this school who have been here for these children and give them the opportunity to give them this community that I had here growing up.”
The Community Health Clinic is located within Crystal Lake Elementary at 700 Galvin Dr., Lakeland, FL 33801. For more information, visit the Central Florida Health Care website at: http://www.cfhconline.org/