SPRING HILL — The welcome — and demand — for the free medical services provided by the Crescent Community Clinic in Brooksville has proved so strong that the organizers soon will open a second clinic in Spring Hill.
The coalition of medical professionals has signed a contract with the Blue Foundation for a Healthy Florida, the philanthropic affiliate of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, which will provide $100,000 for the local expansion.
Of some 100 agencies that applied for a grant, only nine were selected in the current cycle of awards, said Susan Wildes, assistant executive director of the foundation.
"It was competitive," Wildes noted. "We looked at need in the community, whether the nonprofit has the capacity to deliver. We also made a site visit."
What the visit found was 33 physicians, 10 medical support personnel and 25 general staffers, all volunteers, providing primary care for needy and uninsured patients.
Clients numbered 1,300 in the last year, the number authenticated by the state Health Department.
The Brooksville clinic is open 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. the first three Saturdays of each month at the Brook Plaza shopping center at Broad Street and Ponce de Leon Boulevard.
"The value of donated services to the existing clinic (opened in June 2008) is $319,000," said Wildes.
The new clinic, planned to open next spring at Winchester Plaza along Commercial Way, across from the white dinosaur just south of Weeki Wachee, will also include a dental component, said grant writer Barbara Sweinberg.
Medical director Dr. Husam Abuzarad said four area dentists, led by Dr. Edward Augustyniak, will join the team. Dentist Rodney Ackley is providing the space.
Converting the empty 2,400-square-foot facility to accommodate the clinic will cost $120,000, Sweinberg calculated. Into the mix, the West Coast District Dental Association has kicked in $500.
Beth Gray can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.