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Center to provide physicals for youth returning to school

By Staff | Aug 13, 2009

Family Health Centers of Southwest Florida is offering affordable physicals for children going back to school.
Bob Johns, senior vice president of development and special projects at Family Health Centers, said the branch at 305 S.W. Second Terrace will hold a community celebration from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday with entertainment, food and a free backpack giveaway.
On Saturday the center is completely booked for children’s physicals, but Johns said any families can make a future appointment during the weekend celebration.
Forty-five percent of the patients who visit Family Health Centers do not have health insurance. Another 44 percent use Medicaid, 4 percent have Medicare and 7 percent are enrolled in a private insurance plan.
“It’s good for people to know we have a spot in the Cape to get care whether or not they have insurance,” said Johns.
Even though financial troubles have affected many families in Cape Coral and Southwest Florida, Johns said parents are still interested in having their children regularly examined by a professional.
“Most moms and dads want to take care of their kids,” he said. “But, a lot of our patients are working uninsured.”
Many of the patients at Family Health Centers come from families who live at or below 200 percent of the poverty line, but all patients are welcome.
“We take care of everyone — homeless, farm workers or millionaires — we don’t care,” said Johns.
Many Lee County residents depend on their jobs to provide health insurance, but the local unemployment rate is 13 percent, and estimates of the uninsured countywide have reached as high as 30 percent.
Johns said the Cape office is one of Family Health Centers’ three largest pediatric branches which continues to see more patients each day.
In 2008 the center cared for more than 28,000 children.