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Lee Community Healthcare opens in Lehigh

November 6, 2018
By MEGHAN BRADBURY (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Lee Health expanded its services into Lehigh Acres last week with a grand opening and ribbon cutting for Lee Community Healthcare Lehigh Acres, a facility that provides accessible and affordable healthcare to the medically underserved population of the community.

"It went really well," Lee Community Healthcare, Inc. Executive Director Bob Johns said of the Thursday, Nov. 1 event. "A lot of people came together over a period of 18 months. It was a wonderful celebration. We are really glad to be a part of the Lehigh community."

He said the work they do is mission calling. When they started doing the clinics in 2013 they had conducted a study to see where pockets of the greatest need for primary care remained.

Article Photos

Holding scissors – left to right -  Cedric Hall, Chairman, Lee Community Healthcare Board of Directors; Bob Johns, Executive Director, Lee Community Healthcare, Inc.; Dr. Larry Antonucci, President and CEO, Lee Health.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY LEE HEALTH

"Lehigh Acres is one of the communities in the greatest need," he said. "This office is the first with a full range of primary care regardless of age, or particular medical needs. It's a family medicine office. We will take care of patients who are pre-born and their moms all the way to end of life."

The care is for men, women, children in need of pediatric care, as well as care for women expecting a child.

Johns said they have a partnership with Florida State University, providing Lee Health with the opportunity to do a family medicine residency program.

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"We have two that are expecting to graduate in July who are very interested in Lehigh Acres," he said. "I have to tip my hat to the Seminoles. They have been a joy to work with."

Johns said the Lehigh Acres location is the perfect office to allow them to practice their full range of medical skills.

"We want to make it at least an option," he said.

The office opened its doors Thursday, Nov. 1, and saw 21 patients.

"At capacity, we should be able to see 50 to 60 (patients.) We have lots of room to accept new patients," Johns said. "If you are looking for a doctor, we would love to have you as a patient."

With the Lehigh Acres office opening, he said there are now additional slots open in the Cape Coral office.

"We are looking to expand our offices and locate new offices in several communities," Johns said.

Those looking for a primary care physician can call (239) 481-4111 to become a new patient. The individual will have to provide documents showing their financial status, such as pay stubs, or proof of income. Those who have insurance will also be seen, he said.

"We offer primary care on a discounted fee basis, a sliding fee scale," Johns said.

For example, a family of four that makes less than $25,000 a year can be seen for as little as $10 for an office visit. If $10 cannot be paid, Johns said they can still take care of the person. All they ask is for 50 cents, or a dollar to go towards the bill.

In addition, the individual needs to also provide proof of where they live, as well as a way to get a hold of them. Individuals need to show they are residents of Lee County.

"We need to be able to get a hold of them," Johns said. "We want to establish a relationship with every single patient. We want to be their medical home, their old time family doctor."

The Lee Community Healthcare Lehigh Acres office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

"We are looking at expanding the hours after we get to know the patient base and their needs," Johns said.

This office, which is run by Lee Health and Lee Physician Group, joins five other offices in Lee County.

"The need is still out there," Johns said.

According to data, there are 50,000 to 70,000 Lee County residents who live below 200 percent of the poverty level who do not have a primary care doctor. Last year between 30,000 to 35,000 patients used the emergency room for such things as having sniffles, or a minor injury - medical attention better suited for a primary care office.

"It is a privileged to serve the community and care for our patients. They are not always having a good day, but they are very patient with us. It is an honor and privileged to help them feel their best and get them healthier," Johns said.

Lee Community Healthcare Lehigh Acres is at 5705 Lee Blvd.

 
 

 

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