Community Health Northwest Florida celebrates three decades of providing accessible healthcare.
The Health Center is celebrating 30 years of providing comprehensive outpatient primary care to citizens of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties and surrounding areas. To celebrate this milestone, the organization will host a series of events over the next 12 months to share the celebration with everyone who has contributed to its growth over the years: patients, community partners, staff and the people of the communities, where they operate, including Cantonment.
“This milestone anniversary is a great opportunity for us to stop and reflect with gratitude on the past 30 years and how many lives we’ve impacted since we first opened our doors,” said CEO Chandra Smiley. “As we look forward to the next 30 years, we remain committed to ensuring we provide quality, comprehensive health services to everyone who walks through our doors, regardless.”
After the University Hospital on West Leonard Street in Pensacola closed in early 1992, the Escambia Community Clinics were formed with financial support from the Escambia County government, Baptist Hospital, and Sacred Heart Hospital to provide primary outpatient care to the uninsured. During the first decades of his service to the community, former General Manager Don Turner, along with the clinic’s board of directors, shared the goal of expanding access to primary care for the area’s uninsured, underinsured and medically needy residents. In 2007, the organization was recognized as a Government Qualified Health Center by the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration of Health Resources and Services. In 2009, the health center expanded its reach into Santa Rosa County, adding the Santa Rosa Community Clinics in Milton to its list of service locations. During his 22-year tenure, Mr. Turner remained steadfast in his commitment to fulfilling the mission of providing compassionate care to the most vulnerable.
In late 2014, Don Turner retired and Chandra Smiley, MSW, was elected as the health center’s next Executive Director and CEO. Under Ms Smiley’s leadership, the organization experienced steady growth and added locations
Services and steady increase in the number of patients treated each year. In 2018, the organization was rebranded with a new name, Community Health Northwest Florida, to better reflect the health center’s service to the community.
Today, 30 years after opening their doors as Escambia Community Clinics, Community Health Northwest Florida has successfully expanded access, services and locations with 17 care locations as well as two mobile treatment units and one mobile medical unit.
Community Health offers a wide range of health services including adult and family care, child care, women’s care, optometry, chiropractic, dental care, behavioral health and wellness, and four new in-house services
Pharmacies, additional services and more. It is home to over 300 dedicated employees including Physicians, APRNs, PAs, Dentists, LCSWs, Dental Hygienists, Optometrists and countless other professionals who ensure smooth operations. Since 1992, the organization has provided 1.8 million visits to over 450,000 people in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.
Community Health Northwest Florida kicked off its 30 Years of Care series of events by hosting a backyard community party Saturday at its main Jackson Street location.
Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.
Written by William Reynolds Filed under TOP STORIES