Osceola Community Health Services Strengthens Outreach Efforts Amid Retail Health Center Closures

Kissimmee, FL. (May 9, 2024)Osceola Community Health Services (OCHS) is strengthening outreach efforts to connect with patients who will experience a lapse in care due to the recent closures of more than 13 health retail health clinics in Osceola County.

Recent closures by Walgreens Village Medical and Walmart Health calls attention to the need for community health centers such as Osceola Community Health Services that understand the community that it serves and are uniquely equipped to provide quality health services needed for those who have lost their health care. Osceola Community Health Services is a federally qualified health center (FQHC) that has served Osceola County for 22 years and is strategically located in Kissimmee, Buenaventura Lakes, Poinciana, Intercession City, and St. Cloud. An added benefit to patients that OCHS offers is participation in the sliding fee scale program. Retail health clinics such as Walmart, CVS, and Village Medical are unable to participate in the sliding scale fee program. The sliding fee scale program allows patients to reduce the costs of care for uninsured patients or apply the program to insurance deductibles for insured patients. In the coming weeks, outreach representatives will be available at locations throughout Osceola County to help new patients schedule appointments and navigate insurance questions. During the summer months, patients will have the opportunity to connect with a medical provider through the mobile medical unit. Locations where the medical unit will be located will be made available on the OCHS website. Through funding provided by the Osceola County Board of County Commissioners, residents of Districts 2, 3, and 4 can rediscover their smile through no, or low-cost denture services through the Seniors Smile Mobile Denture Program administered by Osceola Community Health Services.

Mobile medical unit used for primary care services in the community.

“Partnering with community service agencies is a certain way to make certain that people who need our services know our services are available to them, said Dr. Belinda Johnson-Cornett, CEO and President of Osceola Community Health Services. “As a community health center, it is essential that we use this time to help ease the transition for the patients who are most impacted by the closures and offer career opportunities to qualified medical and dental assistants, providers, and patient service representatives who may lose employment in the coming months. It is important for patients to understand that their continuity of care is vital, and connecting with our providers sooner rather than later can improve their health outcomes. As a community health center, we are able to offer long-term stability for employment in a team-oriented patient focused environment, with the goal of helping to improve quality of life and health outcomes in our community. Our employee benefits include health, disability, and life insurance. We observe most major holidays, and we are an approved site for several loan reimbursement or forgiveness programs.”

Osceola Community Health Services is committed to improving accessibility to quality healthcare. In addition to providing care, Osceola Community Health Services participates in health fairs, educational seminars, and panel discussions. The University of Central Florida recently tapped Dr. Johnson to be a panelist during Public Health Week. An OCHS Nurse Care Manager, Georgiana Malaykhan, RN educated attendees on cervical cancer during the Lupus Awareness Event at Robert Guevara Community Center on May 4. This month marks the start of OCHS' weekly outreach at CareerSource Central Florida to engage employment-seeking participants and provide them with patient education and ensure they remain connected to health services during their transition between jobs. Since the pandemic, OCHS continues providing health education, supplies, and assistance to people who are experiencing homelessness or inadequate housing. During Business Under the Stars at the Kissimmee Lakefront with The Osceola Chamber, OCHS distributed more than 10 at-home HIV test that included contact information to the OCHS' Ryan White case managers should people experience less than favorable results.

Senior Smiles Osceola team takes photo with District 4 Commissioner Cheryl Grieb.

About Osceola Community Health Services

To schedule an appointment with Osceola Community Health Services, patients may call 407-943-8600. The website is osceolahealthcare.org, and anyone can send a message if they have a question or concern. The website is osceolahealthcare.org.

To see if you qualify for the no or low-cost Senior Smiles Osceola denture program administered by Osceola Community Health Services, please contact 407-742-8501. You must reside in either District 2, 3, or 4 to qualify.