Fiscal 2011 was Caridad Center’s Busiest with 25,149 Patient Visits
Clinic is Florida’s Largest Serving the Uninsured, Working Poor
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. -- Caridad Center, providing the economically disadvantaged with free medical, dental and vision care, is now the largest clinic of its kind in Florida, with a record 25,149 clinic visits by 5,884 uninsured, working poor Palm Beach County individuals in 2011.
The patient total included 3,697 newly registered clients. Children under 18 made up 19% of all patients served.
“We could not have operated the clinic without the more than 250 volunteers who provided $2.3 million worth of donated time last year,” Barbara Vilaseca, Caridad Executive Director, said. Volunteers included dentists, physicians, nurse practitioners, medical and dental assistants, dental hygienists, pharmacists, and other allied health professionals, interpreters and administrative help.
Florida has the fifth highest percentage of uninsured in the nation, and Palm Beach County has approximately 265,000 individuals, or about 28% of residents under 64 who lack medical insurance, Vilaseca said. A typical Caridad patient has an income below 150% of the federal poverty level. Florida received a failing “F” grade from the Pew Center on the States for dental care. Only 25% of Medicaid eligible children under 18 saw a dentist, the report showed.
ABC World News videotaped a report on the dental care crisis using Caridad as a backdrop. As a follow up to the report, ABC produced an exclusive video featuring Caridad and the sustainable solution to the problem Caridad provides services to families primarily in the Boynton Beach area.
“The need has been greater than ever, and our services more important than at any time since we opened our doors more than 20 years ago,” Vilaseca said. “We anticipate we will continue to be the clinic of last resort for this growing population for the foreseeable future.”
In addition to free healthcare, Caridad also offers educational and outreach programs.
2011 Caridad Clinic Highlights
Caridad provided clinical training for 1,114 students including:
Dental Hygiene -- 38 Radiology Techs -- 181
Dental Assistant -- 36 Medical Assistants--377
Dental Students -- 626 Medical Students -- 156
- 870 children and 2,142 adults received dental care in 6,887 visits.
- A total of 19,308 dental procedures, worth almost $2 million, were provided.
- Included were 93 root canals, 2,093 extractions, 1,541 fillings, 1,109 prophylaxis procedures.
- 507 children and 3,310 adults received medical care during 18,217 medical visits.
- The most prevalent chronic diseases treated, in order of frequency, were hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity.
- There were 260 patients referred to community medical specialists for surgeries and procedures requiring general anesthesia not provided at Caridad Clinic. Other referrals were made to programs providing assistance in acquiring medical appliances and supplies.
- 2,711 patients received lab tests at low or no cost.
- For the first 4 months, the lab averaged 168 patients per month. The number increased to an average of 255 patients per month for the rest of the year.
- Pap tests were performed on 714 women, of which 72 required further investigation and biopsies.
Radiology & Diagnostics
- 309 patients received radiology services at the clinic.
- Reduced rates were given to 595 patients for ultrasound, MRI, and CT scans at participating diagnostic centers collaborating with Caridad.
- Ultrasound equipment was obtained through a grant from two foundations.
Quality Assurance Program
Peer reviews for 39 dentists and 80 doctors found above-average results.
- Expanded monitoring given to patients identified with one or more chronic diseases to improve patient outcome.
Chronic Disease Prevention & Management
- 806 individuals participated in 55 health classes and workshops held at the clinic and other in the community-at-large.
- 2,841 non-patients received education and prevention services.
- 3,793 screenings were provided at 35 community events.
- Caridad Center held two health fairs on site, and staff participated in 35 other events. The events allowed for 2,931 screenings for body mass index, blood pressure, blood sugar, urinalysis, vision, hepatitis/syphilis, hearing, lead and cholesterol.
- Enrolled 100 obese children and their families in the Caridad Childhood Obesity Prevention Program.
- Workshops were attended by 394 individuals having one or more chronic diseases.
- Workshops in Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) included:
o 3 workshops in English for 41 participants
o 19 workshops in Spanish for 220 participants
o Leaders training for 9 participants.
- Two Caridad staff certified as Master Trainers in English and Spanish for Stanford University’s Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) in 2011. Workshops included:
o An English workshop for 14 participants.
o 2 workshops in Spanish for 29 participants and 3 leaders training for 46 participants.
Medical Case Management Program
Referrals for 228 patients to volunteer physicians for services not available at Caridad. These include surgeries, special tests and procedures, medical equipment, transportation, insurance, interpreter support for community-based office visits, and navigation of health system.
- 55 patients referred for audiograms, colonoscopies, cystoscopies, prostate procedures, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.
Breast Care Education Program
- The program provided outreach to women in Pahokee and Belle Glade. A total of 328 women attended classes in Pahokee and Delray Health Department Clinic.
- Instruction and materials provided to 1,516 women for Triple Touch Breast Care self-examination technique.
- Screening and annual mammograms provided for 268 women ages 40 or older at no cost by collaborating agencies.
- A volunteer breast surgeon saw 125 female patients for further evaluation and consultation after abnormal mammogram findings.
- Also, 151 patients were referred for additional opinions and/or procedures such as ultrasounds to diagnostic centers at substantially reduced cost.
- Volunteer ophthalmologists saw 778 patients for 1,331 vision consultations.
- Referrals given to 299 patients for free Lenscrafter eyeglasses.
- Also, 110 patients referred to ophthalmologists in the community for tertiary care, including retinal conditions for further evaluation, treatment and surgery.
- Pterygium surgeries for non-cancerous growth were performed on 22 patients at Caridad’s newly renovated surgical suite.
- 13 cataract surgeries were provided by community-based volunteer ophthalmologists.
- 575 visits to a mental health counselor provided 3 days per week.
- 116 adults and 12 children received mental health counseling.
About Caridad Center
Caridad was founded by Constance Berry and the late Caridad Asensio to help uninsured, low income, working poor families. Originally focused on simply providing the bare necessities, such as food, clothing and safe housing to those in need, the Caridad commitment has not wavered. Keeping pace with the area’s growth, today over 350 volunteers of the not-for-profit Caridad Center fill in the gaps of health and social services to the community. There were more than 25,149 patient visits to Caridad’s free medical, dental and vision clinics last fiscal year. For more information go to the Web site, www.Caridad.com.