Health Care for the Homeless
Established in 1995, the Sulzbacher Center serves as a shelter for close to 300 people on any given night. The team at Sulzbacher works hard to help connect residents to jobs, adequate housing and much needed health care, and is the area’s only 24/7 provider of comprehensive services for homeless men, women and children.
The first medical services at Sulzbacher were delivered in a donated trailer that was moved to the Sulzbacher’s campus in downtown Jacksonville – behind the Duval County Jail and under the Hart Bridge. As demand for health care grew, Sulzbacher launched a campaign to build a state of the art clinic, which opened in 1998 allowing high quality care to be delivered with real dignity.
Baptist Health’s CEO Hugh Greene was an integral part of helping us get the program off the ground. 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.
Chief Executive Officer, Sulzbacher Center
The clinic provides primary care, behavioral health care, dental care and prescription drug assistance to homeless and uninsured people throughout Jacksonville. Serving 250-300 patients in an average 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.
The Sulzbacher Center’s partnership with Baptist Health is as strong today as it was when the center opened almost 20 years ago. John Wilbanks Executive Vice President and COO at Baptist Health, serves as chair of the Center’s Board of Directors. “Sulzbacher is a prime example of the compassionate care available in our community,” says Wilbanks. “Through our support we extend the mission of Baptist Health to the most vulnerable among us.”
The Pastoral Care program at Baptist Health donates a chaplain’s time at the Center to help provide spiritual and emotional support to the residents that call Sulzbacher home. And Baptist’s funding of clinic operations is critical to meeting the increasing demand for health care for families that find themselves homeless.
“We simply couldn’t do what we do without Baptist Health as a partner,” says Funkhouser.