Belle Glade, FL – The C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics’ site in Belle Glade marked the opening of its new facility at 941 SE 1st Street with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Belle Glade Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Sept. 11th. This summer the Clinic, one of four Federally Qualified Health Centers owned and operated by the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, relocated from the Florida Department of Health Palm Beach County’s Health Center in Belle Glade to the new downtown Belle Glade site with the goal of serving even more adult and pediatric patients.
“We are excited that our medical staff at the new Belle Glade clinic site will be able to provide care to patients, including the homeless and migrant workers, in a more central, convenient location that features improved access to transportation,” said Christopher F. Irizarry, MPA, FQHC Executive Director. “Our goal is that this clinic, as well as all of our clinics, will become the medical home for our patients’ health care needs.”
Through a partnership with the City of Belle Glade, the Clinic in Belle Glade is providing local bus transportation to Clinic patients on the Belle Glade Express. The Brumback Clinics also include three other sites in Palm Beach County: West Palm Beach, Lantana and Delray Beach. All four clinics are open Monday through Friday and serve all patients regardless of their ability to pay or whether or not they have insurance. In their first year of operations from June 2013 through June 2014, the Clinics logged more than 52,000 total patient visits. In August, the Clinics began operating a school-based clinic at Palm Beach Lakes Community High School.
“The Health Care District’s mission is to be the health care safety net for Palm Beach County,” said Ronald J. Wiewora, MD, MPH, the Health Care District’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer. “The relocation of the Belle Glade clinic will provide residents with improved access to high-quality medical care. We are grateful to the Belle Glade Chamber of Commerce and its Executive Director Brenda Bunting for hosting today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony and for their continued support of the Health Care District’s mission in the Glades.”
More than 60 people attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house, which included a tour of the clinic and an opportunity for guests to meet the Clinic’s staff. Among the dignitaries at the event were Belle Glade Mayor Steve B. Wilson; Larry Underwood, City of Belle Glade Commissioner and President of the Belle Glade Chamber; Vice-Mayor Diane Walker, City of Pahokee; Ben Durgan, Legislative Aide to State Sen. Joseph Abruzzo; Barbara Davis, Legislative Aide to State Rep. Kevin Rader; Lomax Harrelle, Belle Glade City Manager and Battalion Chief Joey Cooper, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.
“Today as we reflect back and honor the victims of 9/11, we also appreciate the grand opening of the C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics’ site in Belle Glade to provide services to those in need – the people of our community,” said Mayor Wilson. “And that is most important.”
Members of the C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics Board of Directors in attendance were: David Kendle, Chair; Bessie Brown, Treasurer; John Casey Mullen, Member; and Frances Navarro, Vice-Chair. Also in attendance were Commissioner Philip H. Ward, III, Vice-Chair, Health Care District of Palm Beach County Board; Ronald J. Wiewora, MD, MPH, the Health Care District’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer; Todd Bonlarron, Palm Beach County Legislative Affairs Director; James T. Howell, MD, MPH, Health Care District Audit and Compliance Committee Member; Mary Weeks, Secretary, Glades Rural Area Support Board; Gilbert Alvarez, Glades Rural Area Support Board Member; Sandra Chamblee, Glades Rural Area Support Board Member; Thomas J. Leach, Lakeside Medical Center Hospital Administrator; Elizabeth “Liz” Cayson, MS, Health Care District Government Relations Specialist, as well as representatives of many local community, health and social service agencies.
The ceremony opened with an invocation from Rev. Robert Rease, Pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Belle Glade, followed by the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in both English and Spanish led by Gove Elementary School students Parrys Brown, Jenna Smith and Alanna Duran. Sixth-grader Ariel Taylor then sang the national anthem. Christopher F. Irizarry welcomed the crowd and introduced guest speakers Mayor Wilson and Dr. Ronald J. Wiewora. The program ended with the dignitaries at the event assisting David Kendle, Board Chair of the Brumback Clinics, in cutting the ceremonial ribbon.
“I think the Clinics are doing a wonderful job honoring the legacy of the late Dr. Clarence L. “Carl” Brumback, who served as Palm Beach County’s first Health Department Director beginning in 1950,” said Mr. Kendle. “Dr. Brumback was a champion of improving the health of all Palm Beach County residents and the Brumback Clinics serve to carry on his mission and vision every day.”
“Preventive care is a priority at our clinics, especially in underserved areas, where we see many seriously ill patients who could have benefitted from seeing a doctor earlier,” said Belma Andric, MD, MPH, FQHC Medical Director. “We hope our new location in Belle Glade will make it easier for patients to receive the preventive care that may save their life.”
While walk-ins are welcome, the Clinics recommend that patients make an appointment by calling 561-642-1000.
Back row, left to right: Ben Durgan, Legislative Aide to State Sen. Joseph Abruzzo; Commissioner Philip H. Ward, Vice-Chair, Health Care District of Palm Beach County Board; Ronald J. Wiewora, MD, MPH, Health Care District of Palm Beach County Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer; Todd Bonlarron, Palm Beach County Legislative Affairs Director.
Middle row, left to right: John Casey Mullen, Member, C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics Board; Bessie Brown, Treasurer, C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics Board; Christopher F. Irizarry, MPA, FQHC Executive Director; Elizabeth Nieves, MHA, FQHC Practice Manager, Belle Glade; James T. Howell, MD, MPH, Health Care District Audit and Compliance Committee Member.
Front row, left to right: Vice-Mayor Diane Walker, City of Pahokee; Barbara Davis, Legislative Aide to State Rep. Kevin Rader; David Kendle, Chair, C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics Board; Wanda D. Casey, C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics Board Member; Mayor Steve Wilson, City of Belle Glade; Commissioner Larry Underwood, City of Belle Glade and President of the Belle Glade Chamber.
About the Health Care District:
The Health Care District of Palm Beach County, which is marking its 25th anniversary, provides adult and pediatric care at the four C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics, health coverage programs for eligible uninsured residents, a pharmacy operation, a nationally-recognized Trauma System, registered nurses in nearly 170 public schools, short and long-term skilled nursing at the Edward J. Healey Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Riviera Beach, and acute care at Lakeside Medical Center, the county’s only public hospital, serving the rural Glades’ communities.
For more information, contact:
Administrator of Public Affairs