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August 2, 2019 PRESS RELEASE
ACORN CLINIC TO PHASE OUT MEDICAL SERVICES AT ITS MEDICAL CLINIC
The board of directors of the ACORN Clinic announced today that they plan to phase out primary care and preventive health services provided by the medical clinic within the next three months. However, ACORN Clinic will continue to provide affordable dental services at its facility in Brooker, Florida.
“This was a difficult financial decision,” said Runi Foster, M.D., a medical clinic volunteer and longtime board member. Dr. Foster said the board’s decision to close the medical clinic was based on a number of factors, including the loss of key sources of government funding over the past 10 years. She also pointed to an increase in the number of health care clinics in the area that provide sliding-scale primary care and preventive services that can serve our low-income patients. “We have a list of these clinics and ACORN Clinic staff will assist our patients make the transition to an affordable medical home.”
The board decided to continue to provide dental and preventive oral health care services to area residents because “there is a significant lack of affordable dental care in North Central Florida, especially for low-income adults,” Dr. Foster said. The clinic currently provides dental health services to some 2,000 residents in rural North Central Florida.
According to Candice King, Executive Director, there is clear evidence linking poor oral health to poor overall health, and Florida residents have less access to quality dental care than those living in other states.
“The rural residents served by ACORN often have substantial oral health needs with very limited sources of affordable treatment,” she said.
Since 1974, ACORN Clinic has filled a unique niche in Alachua County by providing affordable primary and preventive health services to thousands of individuals and families living in rural North Central Florida. Over 90% of ACORN’s patients have low incomes. The clinic has also trained hundreds of health care providers over the years.
ACORN Clinic currently provides primary care and preventive medical services for about 940 area residents.
“We’ll see patients for one or two more appointments during the next 90 days and will help them make this change in their primary medical care services,” King said.