Naples Florida Weekly

Neighborhood Health Clinic opens doors for doctors displaced by Hurricane Irma


Dr. James Talano of the SWICFT Institute sees a patient in a Neighborhood Health Clinic exam room offered to the institute post- Hurricane Irma.

Dr. James Talano of the SWICFT Institute sees a patient in a Neighborhood Health Clinic exam room offered to the institute post- Hurricane Irma.

In addition to reopening to its clients on Monday, Sept. 18, the Neighborhood Health Clinic, a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization providing Collier County’s working, uninsured adults with quality medical and dental care, began providing space for area doctors impacted by Hurricane Irma.

“Since we opened our doors in 1999, we’ve been dedicated to providing hope and healing to those in need in Collier County,” explained CEO Leslie Lascheid. “Typically, this refers to patients. However, post-Irma, it means sharing our space with local medical providers who still do not have power.

“Irma might have devastated much of Southwest Florida, but her impact has united us in a spirit of collaboration and care that will help our community heal.”

Cardiologists James Talano and Robert Baily of the SWICFT Institute were provided NHC rooms to see their patients. The clinic also served as the post-Irma office for neurologist Maria Santiago and staff. Exam rooms were made available to physicians who were displaced by Hurricane Irma and who were either NHC volunteers or members of the Collier County Medical Association or a Clinic volunteer.

In the days immediately following the storm, NHC staff and volunteers worked diligently to ensure the medical facility was ready to receive patients and to save the $2.5 million in donated medication that was nearly lost due to power outages. The clinic received support from community, government and political leaders, as well as citizens who offered a helping hand.

“We are forever grateful for the kindness shown to us by both our long-time supporters and those new to the clinic,” Ms. Lascheid said. “As a community working together we know we will remain ‘Naples Strong.’”

About the clinic

The Neighborhood Health Clinic has approximately 250 physicians, 42 dentists, 100 nurses and 300 non-medical personnel who donate their expertise. Supported by 13 full-time and seven part-time paid staff, they performed more than 26,951 patient procedures in fiscal year 2016 and provided more than 9,900 patient visits with working, uninsured men and women in fiscal year 2016. NHC patients have access to general medical practitioners and also to specialty clinics for complex and chronic conditions and dentists. Basic tests for established patients are conducted in the clinic’s onsite laboratory.

For more information about the Neighborhood Health Clinic, including ways to support the nonprofit organization, please call 261-7416 or visit www.NeighborhoodHealthClinic.org. ¦

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