Inside Poinciana Florida

Archive for October 2010

Originally posted by:  WFTV.COM

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. —
A new grant will give uninsured families some help in Osceola County. Currently, 30 percent of people in the county don’t have enough health insurance and people in Poinciana have to get medical help in a mobile home.

Until he walked inside, Erick Walsh thought a building in Poinciana was a portable classroom.

“I thought it was part of a high school or something,” Walsh said.

It’s actually an Osceola County Health Department clinic; a place for the uninsured with nowhere else to turn.

“The last time I was here I waited three hours,” Walsh said.

That’s about to change thanks to an $8.3 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services. It’s money desperately needed by a department that recently saw a 34 percent budget cut from the state, but is serving more people than ever.

There is usually one doctor and one physician’s assistant working there at any given time and those two people have to see an average of 60 patients a day. Money from the grant will go toward the construction of an actual building for the Poinciana clinic and the expansion of clinics in Kissimmee and St. Cloud.

“This will increase our patient flow and help us meet the demand for our services,” administrator Belinda Johnson-Cornett said.

Johnson-Cornett says the money has arrived at a critical time; clinics are at capacity and turning patients away is not an option.

“The emergency rooms are already overcrowded and that’s where people would go, or they would go without, and when they do show up for health care they would be in a crisis,” she said.

Walsh said that would’ve been him if he hadn’t come to the clinic to treat his lupus and diabetes. He’s happy to see help is on the way for the clinic he counts on.

The health department says work on all three clinics will be completed within the next three years. They’re looking for other grants to help them expand their staff and buy more equipment.

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