Providing health care with dignity to the homeless
What started in a trailer under a bridge is now a state-of-the-art medical clinic that provides health care services to more than 100 homeless people in Jacksonville each week.
The clinic, part of the Sulzbacher Center in downtown Jacksonville, opened in 1998 and allows high-quality care to be delivered with real dignity. “Hugh Greene was an integral part of helping us get the program off the ground,” says Sulzbacher President and CEO Cindy Funkhouser. “His guidance and leadership, coupled with the dedicated support of Baptist Health, has really helped us expand into the comprehensive and holistic medical program that you see today.”
Baptist Health provides funding for the clinic’s operations. “Sulzbacher is a prime example of the compassionate care available in our community. Through our support we extend the mission of Baptist Health to the most vulnerable among us,” said John F. Wilbanks, chief operating officer of Baptist Health and former Chair of Sulzbacher’s Board of Directors.
The clinic provides primary care, behavioral health care, dental care and prescription drug assistance to homeless and uninsured people throughout Jacksonville. Every week, the staff sees many different diagnoses ranging from hypertension and diabetes to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Physicians, nurses, residents and students from area medical programs provide care to people who often go without the treatment they so desperately need.
In addition to the clinic, medical care is also provided to homeless people through Sulzbacher’s Homeless Outreach Project Expansion (HOPE) medical outreach program. Trained medical outreach specialists engage homeless people to get them the health and psychiatric services they need. The HOPE team also distributes clothing, blankets, food, water and basic hygiene items to those who are homeless. Sulzbacher currently operates five HOPE vans throughout northeast Florida.