On June 29, 2016, Interfaith took ownership of the medical facility formerly known as the Ocala Women’s Center and in August we opened the Interfaith Emergency Services Center for Life. This is a place where people in need of medical attention will be treated with the best care from certified medical professionals for FREE.
For years an unmet need in Marion County has been free medical and dental care for those without insurance or enough income to afford professional care. This has driven thousands of uninsured, low-income patients to our local emergency rooms for non-emergency medical attention.
Last year alone there were over 4,000 visits to local emergency rooms for dental related issues. Because these are non-paying patients, this has a detrimental impact on medical costs for the community at large. It taxes the hospital’s resources and doesn’t provide the proper care for patients suffering with chronic illnesses. The average cost per visit to the ER is $3,000.
This is why Interfaith Emergency Services began working with a group of local medical professionals. Through a partnership with Three Angels Clinic and Hope Clinic, patients once received medical treatment in our homeless shelter. Due to demand and the many local professionals who wanted to come on board and get involved, the clinics quickly outgrew our limited space. When Interfaith had a rare opportunity to purchase a medical facility adjacent to our current campus we moved forward realizing that for years to come this would have an incredible impact on our local community.
On August 5th we opened the Interfaith Emergency Services Center for Life where people in need of medical attention are treated with the best care from certified medical professional for FREE in partnership with Hope Clinic. While the services are free, the space to provide the services is not. This is where the support of the community is critical. The physicians and medical professionals offer their services at no cost to our patients as a way of giving back to the community. By providing this space and funding the utilities and infrastructure at this site, we can save our local hospitals THOUSANDS of dollars each year and provide hope and healing to those patients who cannot afford the benefit of a primary care physician.
In the summer of 2017 another dream was realized when FreeDOM Clinic partnered with Interfaith to open a free dental clinic in the Center for Life. Local dentists serve here to offer relief from suffering to those homeless and indigent in desperate need of dental services.
Soon after the dental clinic was added a partner came on board to provide Mental Health Services. IGNITE Counseling Services joined our team in effort to alleviate the burden of a 700 patient backlog. Additionally Ignite accepts Medicaid, those in need of mental health services who are low-income and without insurance can access this important care here in Marion County.
Also in progress is a special private garden which will be used to memorialize unborn children either lost through abortion or natural causes. For many who lose children at birth or prior to birth, the grieving process is helped tremendously by naming the child and memorializing the life in a significant way. Charlie’s Garden will be a place of peace and healing for those who have experience this type of loss. Interfaith plans to partner with the Women’s Pregnancy Center and Alpha House to give access to their clients in post-abortion counseling. For more information about Charlie’s Garden or to make a contribution contact Karla at (352) 629-8868.
Please consider what you can do to help us keep the lights on and the doors open so these medical professionals can keep their hearts open and give back to those less fortunate. For more information call Karla at 352-209-7045 or click here to learn how to provide financial support.