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NFM convenient care center to close; will reopen in September

By Staff | Jul 30, 2011

Lee Memorial Health System closed its North Fort Myers Lee Convenient Care Center Friday with plans to reopen in mid-September with a United Way partnership that will offer more services.

The center was and still will be located at 13729 N. Cleveland Ave., and officials are asking that employers that use the facility as a Workers’ Compensation referral and walk-in clients use the two other nearby central locations during the transition.

They are the Lee Convenient Care Pine Island, at 1682 NE Pine Island Rd. -phone number 424-1655 – and the Lee Convenient Care Page Field center at 4771 S. Cleveland Ave – phone number 343-9800.

The center will reopen in September as “Lee Physician Group North Fort Myers United Way House.” The office will serve the needs of the North Fort Myers community with adult primary care and management of chronic medical conditions.

“We are now putting convenient care, or walk-in clinics, into a new use,” said Lee Memorial Health System spokesperson Mary Briggs.

“It will still be the Lee Physician Group.” But with the addition of United Way it will be a new type of primary care office.

It is a model both groups have been collaborating on, after a first run in Dunbar that has proven successful.

“There will be sliding fee scale or free care at that office. We’re responding to some unmet needs in the community,” Briggs said.

“What often happens to people who don’t have insurance is that they wait until they really sick to seek it.”

And they may need additional social services to get well.

“We opened our Dunbar facility in May,” she said, with the additional social services there, and the United Way partnership. “We will also see nutritional problems, so patterning with United Way can get them (clients) partnered with other United Way Services.

“The important thing is that we want to come into the community and establish regular and ongoing medical care, regardless of their ability to pay.”

Concerning the shut down and mid-September opening she said, “The most efficient way to run a clinic like this is to set up its own convenient care space. We just need time to put some computer software updates and changes to the facility.”

Cliff Smith is the president of United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades County.

“The Dunbar United Way House has been extremely successful,” he said.

The North Fort Myers facility will be much larger.

“Preliminary assessments to help people in that area have been done.”

He is hoping a special kiosk will be built there according to plan.

“We will set up kiosk space where people can apply for food stamps and other governmental assistant programs.”

A case management/information referral person will be right there at the clinic.

“The idea behind this is that people who need medical care often need some type of social service assistance, also this is a great partnership module. We hope that when they do show up, they will get all the care they need. We are thrilled at the partnership.”

Look for future announcements in the North Fort Myers Neighbor and Breeze on the opening of the new clinic.