It’s a healthy solution, one that’s making medical care accessible to the people who need it most.
“If you have access to health care you usually lead healthier lives. So that’s what we’re providing to this community. Access to quality health care,” says Dr. Aldith Lewis, an internal medicine physician with Lee Memorial Health System.
Dr. Lewis is medical director of the Dunbar United Way House, one of two neighborhood medical practices supported by Lee Physician Group. A primary focus will be on managing chronic diseases.
“We’re going to have different disease management goals including diabetes, congestive heart failure, asthma,” says Dr. Lewis.
Sharon Scott had no job and no insurance when she made her visit to the North Fort Myers United Way House.
“They’ve taken care of everything. They did bloodwork the first time I came and my cholesterol was high so they got me back right away to try to get that under control.”
Both practices serve people who might otherwise slip through the cracks, and not get the medical care they need or resort to using the ER as a doctor’s office.
In a few short months, the neighborhood practices have found a home in their communities.
“It’s been wonderful! We’ve been very well received, you know the phone doesn’t stop ringing. Patients are calling, people are calling and they’re saying you know I’ve had health insurance I’ve recently lost my job my coverage,” says Cie Mora, the Operations Manager for the North Fort Myers United Way House.
Word is spreading they can get medical help on a sliding scale.
“We just need a declaration of how much income is coming into the household, how many members living in the household and then based on that information we determine what their sliding scale is,” says Mora.United Way Houses are not walk-in clinics. Established as medical practices, the hope is to foster long-term relationships with health care professionals.