Northwest Florida Community Health Celebrates 30 Years of Care: NorthEscambia.com
Community Health Northwest Florida celebrates three decades of providing accessible health care.
The health center celebrates 30 years of providing comprehensive primary ambulatory care to the citizens of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties and surrounding areas. To commemorate this milestone anniversary, over the next 12 months the organization will host a series of events to share the celebration with all those who have played a role in its growth over the years: patients, community partners, staff and people. of the communities in which they serve, including cantonment.
“This milestone anniversary is a great opportunity for us to pause and reflect with gratitude on the past 30 years and how many lives we have been able to impact since opening our doors,” said Chandra Smiley. , CEO. “As we look to the next 30 years, we remain committed to providing comprehensive, quality healthcare services to everyone who walks through our doors, regardless of when.
After University Hospital on West Leonard Street in Pensacola closed in early 1992 with financial support from the Escambia County government, Baptist Hospital, and Sacred Heart Hospital, community clinics in Escambia were created to provide outpatient primary care to uninsured people. During the first decades of service to the community, former CEO Don Turner, along with the clinic’s board of directors, aimed to expand access to primary care for uninsured, underinsured residents and medically needy from the region. In 2007, the organization was granted the designation of Accredited Health Center by the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. In 2009, the health center expanded its reach to Santa Rosa County, incorporating the Santa Rosa Community Clinics in Milton into its list of service sites. Throughout his 22-year tenure, Mr. Turner has remained steadfast in his dedication to fulfilling the mission of providing compassionate care to the most vulnerable.
At the end of 2014, Don Turner retired and Chandra Smiley, MSW, was chosen as the health center’s next executive director and CEO. Under Ms. Smiley’s leadership, the organization has grown steadily, adding sites and
services and steadily increasing the number of patients served each year. In 2018, the organization rebranded to 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 Community Clinics in Escambia, Community Health Northwest Florida has successfully expanded access, services and sites, with 17 care locations as well as two mobile dental units and a mobile medical unit.
Community Health provides a wide range of health care services, including adult and family care, pediatric care, women’s care, optometry, chiropractic care, dental care, behavioral health and wellness, as well as four new
pharmacies, auxiliary services and more. It is the workplace of more than 300 dedicated employees, including physicians, APRNs, physician assistants, dentists, LCSWs, dental hygienists, optometrists, and countless other professionals who keep the operations. Since 1992, the organization has provided 1.8 million visits to more than 450,000 people in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.
Community Health Northwest Florida kicked off its 30 Years of Care event series by hosting a community backyard party on Saturday at its main Jackson Street site.
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