Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Premier Community HealthCare Group's hours changing

Premier Community HealthCare Group, a countywide clinic system whose patients include the uninsured and those on government assistance, has reduced its hours and eliminated its evening and weekend clinics.

Instead, the clinics will open a half hour earlier and close a half hour later on most weekdays.

"We are reallocating hours to better align our organization while also providing more attractive and easily accessible hours for our patients to receive continuity in their care," CEO Kim Schuknecht said. "Our goal is to provide services when the majority of our patients can and will come to Premier." She said that the new hours would provide better work-life balance to staff and make the clinic better able to recruit and retain employees.

Under the new schedule, which took effect Monday, all clinics in New Port Richey, Dade City and Zephyrhills will open at 7:30 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m. every weekday except Wednesday, when they operate from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The former schedule offered extended evening hours one day a week at various locations, with Saturday hours twice a month everywhere except New Port Richey, which operated one Saturday a month.

Schuknecht said the change was due to a greater need for services during a time when funding levels have remained stagnant and high unemployment has pushed more people onto government insurance or left them without health coverage. Premier, which is nonprofit, is designated as a federally qualifying heath care center, which means it may seek federal grants to operate and expand. Its aim is to keep those needing primary care out of hospital emergency rooms, where treatment is the most expensive.

"There's no additional funding, but the need continues to grow," Schuknecht said. "This new schedule will provide an optimum number of accessible hours to address the growing needs of the patient with the current funding provided."

This spring, Premier suffered a blow when Gov. Rick Scott vetoed about $1.25 million that had been approved during a previous budget year. Clinic officials had hoped to use the money to open a new clinic in the Mike Fasano Regional Hurricane Shelter in Hudson. County officials tried to reinstate the allocation but could find no legal way to do it.

Premier provides primary adult and pediatric care, women's care, dental and mental health care to patients on Medicare, Medicaid and those on private insurance plans. Those without coverage are charged on a sliding fee scale. The only other option for the uninsured is the Good Samaritan Clinic in New Port Richey.

>>Fast facts

To learn more

Visit or call (352) 518-2000 or (727) 645-4185 for information about Premier's locations and services.

Premier Community HealthCare Group's hours changing 08/02/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 7:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Will new laws protect condo owners from apartment conversions and rogue associations?

    Real Estate

    Danny Di Nicolantonio has lived in St. Petersburg's Calais Village Condominums for 33 years. Annoyed at times by the actions, or inaction, of the condo board and property managers, he has complained to the state agency that is supposed to investigate.

    That has left him even more annoyed.

    A bill passed by the Florida Legislature would affect places like The Slade in Tampa's Channelside district, where cCondominium owners have battled a plan to convert homes into apartments.
[Times file photo]
  2. Walmart opens first Pinellas County in-house training academy


    Seminole — It had all the hallmarks of a typical graduation: robe-clad graduates marching in to Pomp and Circumstance, friends and family packed together under a sweltering tent and a lineup of speakers encouraging the graduates to take charge of their future.

    New Walmart Academy graduates are congratulated Thursday morning by associates during a graduation ceremony at the Walmart store, 10237 Bay Pines Boulevard, St. Petersburg. The Walmart location is one of the company's training academies where managers complete a one week retail course. David Shultz and Richard Sheehan, both from St. Petersburg, get high fives from the crowd.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  3. Four questions with Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith before he helps lead the St. Pete Pride parade

    Human Interest

    A decade ago, Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith was afraid to tell his friends and family he was gay.

    Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith will serve as a grand marshal at the St. Pete Pride parade on Saturday. [City of Largo]
  4. Lawsuit: Florida contractor fakes death to dodge angry homeowners

    Human Interest

    SEMINOLE — For weeks, Glenn Holland, 67, crawled out of bed before the sun rose to look for a dead man.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  5. What you need to know for Friday, June 23


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Graffiti butts are everywhere in downtown St. Pete. What's going on? [CHRISTOPHER SPATA | Times]