Grant Year: 2023 | Focus Area: Health and Wellness| Amount: $108,364| Grant Status: In progress
Health and Hope Clinic (the Clinic) is a longstanding free health facility serving the uninsured and underserved population in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. The Clinic's mission is to provide health care to the uninsured poor by meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of patients. The organization strives to tackle various social determinants of health that affect this population, such as lack of accessible healthcare, affordable medications, food insecurity, and language barriers. The Clinic caters to a target population of individuals who earn 200% of the Federal Poverty Level or less. The Clinic provides a wide range of medical services through the dedication of volunteer healthcare professionals and staff. Medical services offered include family practice, dental, surgery, spiritual care, laboratory services, and an on-site licensed pharmacy. The clinic is the only free clinic in its zip code, 32514, and is utilized by all three surrounding area hospitals for patients treated that do not have health insurance. The Clinic collaborates with various nonprofit programs to extend its reach, ensuring that even those in drug rehabilitation programs receive comprehensive healthcare.
OVERVIEW OF THE PROPOSED PROJECT
Health and Hope Clinic seeks to expand the full capacity clinic to provide additional access to mental health services, as documented in data collected by the Mental Health Task Force of Northwest Florida. Collaborative efforts with area hospitals and the task force have highlighted the urgent need for expanded mental health services for underserved and impoverished communities. The project involves constructing a mental health and wellness wing adjacent to the existing primary care clinic. IMPACT 100 funds will be used to expand the Clinic to include confidential and private space for volunteer counselors to provide direct mental health services, free-of-charge, to impoverished citizens and improve access to care by increasing the number of patients receiving free mental health services in the clinic setting. There will also be a much-needed conference room, providing space to do health and wellness classes. The Clinic's project aims to enhance access to mental health care, in alignment with health and wellness priorities. This initiative focuses on capacity building, connectivity, and transformative investment to advance health equity within the local community. By investing in this program, the Clinic is addressing the needs of the vulnerable population and enriching the overall community.
EXPECTED IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY
The far-reaching implications of mental health struggles span various aspects of individuals' lives, including education, social interactions, physical well-being, and the overall stability of families. Confirmed by a 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment, mental health is in crisis in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties are grappling with high rates of mental health-related challenges, and the assessment highlights the urgent need for mental health services, with nearly half of respondents ranking these services as the most difficult to access. This situation is further compounded by shortage of licensed mental health counselors and a growing number of residents in these counties experiencing symptoms of mental health disorders. The Clinic aims to increase access to direct mental health services including counseling and medication management and increase patient education for general lifestyle improvement that will contribute to overall mental and physical health. The new wing will not only expand the footprint of the Clinic, it will also allow the Clinic to expand and provide much needed mental health services and help more people in the community.