Five-point-eight-million Floridians were uninsured for at least six-months in 2007 and 2008. And more than 80 % of them were employed during that time period. The Hope Clinic in Destin was founded specifically to help the working uninsured and the clinic received a $10,000 donation Tuesday, but needs help in other areas.
The Hope Medical Clinic opened its doors almost a year ago with the mission of treating a deserving class of people: the uninsured working.
"Medicine is a calling and this is just a different kind of calling to do this for free and give my time and help people not have to worry about insurance, collecting money, or overhead and that stuff. So it's fun,” said Dr. Luke Lentz M.D., Hope Medical Clinic Volunteer.
"We are faith-based and we do have a big mission statement as far as the individual,” said Hope Medical Clinic Director, Tim Roberts. “Our doctors’ volunteer and they come here with the same mission to help people.”
The clinic has seen 240-patients over the past year, with just 2-physicians. Clinic officials are now expanded to a team of 16-doctors. But they still need more medical assistance.
"If we could just get the doctors of this community to just give us three or four hours a year, three or four hours a year, we've got over 200 doctors; That would give these patients just one access point and keep them out of the hospitals and emergency room and all that trauma. Just give them a place to come"
They're hoping Tuesday’s donation, by the sacred heart healthcare systems will help spread the spirit of volunteerism. The 10-thousand dollar check, presented through the caduceus society, will help people get back on their feet.
"To see that money put to good work is really gratifying, absolutely," said Dr. Tom Fox, Caduceus Society.