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The Alachua County Organization for Rural Needs, Inc. (ACORN) Clinic is a nationally-recognized program that provides low-cost medical, dental and social services care to residents of North Central Florida.

About Us

ACORN Clinic was founded in 1974 when two area churches funded volunteers to meet the healthcare needs of their community. The group initially focused on home visits and social service referrals. In 1976, ACORN Clinic established a medical clinic to meet the area’s growing healthcare needs and later expanded its services by starting a dental clinic in 1987.

ACORN Clinic uses volunteers to provide high-quality, low-cost healthcare to low-income patients without insurance and with little financial resources to pay for their medical needs. With its unique volunteer model, the clinic leverages $1.05 million in volunteer time and donated medicine and supplies valued at over $855,000.

ACORN Clinic is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization serving residents of Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Union and other counties in North Central Florida. ACORN Clinic receives funding from United Way of North Central Florida, Alachua, Bradford and Union County, civic groups, churches, foundations and private donors. Patients are seen on a sliding scale basis and we accept Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance.

ACORN Clinic is governed by a Board of Directors that meets on a bi-monthly basis.

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Olga Ensz, DDS

Jerne Shapiro
Vice President

Joan Castleman, RN, MS, CTTS
Past President

Sarah Catalanotto, MPH, CTTS

Frank Catalanotto, MPH, CTTS
Dental Rep.

Sherah English
Health Disparities (GNV)

Wendy Resnick
Medical Rep.

Laura K Guyer, PhD, MEd, RDN
Health Equity/Community Engagement

Scott Darius, BA, JD
Health Equity, Health Legislation

William (Bill) Witt, DDS
Dental Rep.


Our Partners

Through ACORN Clinic’s utilization of strategic alliances with numerous organizations in North Central Florida, ACORN Clinic has been able to thrive in a difficult healthcare industry. These partnerships ensure the highest in quality health care for ACORN Clinic patients and are a strong indicator of the value of the ACORN Clinic model. Below is a list of ACORN Clinic’s strategic alliance partners. 

Awards & Recognition

2018 Laura K. Guyer, an ACORN Clinic board member, was nominated by ACORN Clinic staff and named a Girl Scout “Woman Who Makes a Difference” on May 31, 2018.

2017 Candice King, Executive Director of ACORN Clinic, was named a Girl Scout “Women of Distinction” on June 1, 2017.

2015 ACORN’s Volunteer of the Month for June and ACORN strategic planning volunteer Ralph Horky received the “Work of Heart” Award in the Good Neighbor category.

2014 Long-time ACORN Clinic medical volunteer Marcia Millet received the “Work of Heart” Award in the Senior Category.

2013 Community Service Outstanding Organization Award from the Alachua County Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry for Homeless

2013 Our Co-Medical Director was awarded the 2013 Wendall N. Rollason Award for contributions to rural health care by the Florida Rural Health Association

2009 Florida Surgeon General’s Award for Health Innovation, Prevention, & Management

2008 ACORN Clinic Volunteers win the “Work of Heart” Award in Health and Social Services

2007 Blue Foundation for a Health Florida grant to support the “Tooth Fairy” Dental Outreach Education Program

2006 Blue Foundation for A Healthy Florida Sapphire Award for Excellence in Community Health care

2004 Santa Fe College Woman of Distinction awarded to Marilyn Mesh, Past Executive Director of ACORN Clinic

2004 Sole Sisters: Stepping Up the Fight Against Breast Cancer: $61,000 raised for mammography screenings for uninsured women in north central Florida

2001 Separate dental clinic built and opened; existing medical/dental clinic remodeled

2002-2004 The National Health Service Corp approved a 3 year rotation for an OB/GYN Physician

1998-2000 Capital Campaign initiated to fund a new dental clinic and restore and expand the medical clinic

1998 The Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leader Award

1998 National Rural Health Association’s Outstanding Rural Health Program

1997 Robert Wood Johnson Community Partnership Award

1997 Mutual of America Community Partnership Award

1987 Dental clinic opened

1976 Medical clinic opened to meet the growing needs of the rural population

1974-77 Health care focused on home visits and social service referrals

1974 Two churches funded VISTA volunteers (Volunteers in Service to America) to serve the healthcare needs of residents in rural Alachua County