The C.L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics’ site in Belle Glade marked the opening of its new facility at 941 SE First Street with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Belle Glade Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Sept. 11.
This summer, the clinic, one of four federally qualified health centers owned and operated by the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, moved 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,” Executive Director Christopher F. Irizarry said. “Our goal is that this clinic… will become the medical home for our patients’ healthcare needs.”
Through a partnership with the city, the clinic in Belle Glade is providing local bus transportation to clinic patients on the Belle Glade Express. The Brumback Clinics also include sites in West Palm Beach, Lantana and Delray Beach. All four are open Monday through Friday and serve all patients regardless of their ability to pay or whether they have insurance. In their first year of operation, through June 2014, the clinics logged more than 52,000 total patient visits.
“The health care district’s mission is to be the healthcare safety net for Palm Beach County,” said Dr. Ronald J. Wiewora, chief executive 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 Executive Director Brenda Bunting for hosting the ribbon-cutting ceremony and for their continued support of the 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. They included local politicians, civil servants, legislative aides, fire-rescue representatives, members of the clinics’ board of directors, county and health care district officials, and members of the Glades Rural Area Support Board, as well as representatives of many 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.
Irizarry welcomed the crowd and introduced guest speakers Belle Glade Mayor Steve Wilson and Dr. Wiewora. The program ended with the dignitaries at the event assisting David Kendle, chairman of the Brumback Clinics, in cutting the ceremonial ribbon.
“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,” Wilson said. “And that is most important.”
“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,” Kendle said. “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.”
Dr. Belma Andric, medical director at the health centers, also spoke at the event. “Preventive care is a priority at our clinics, especially in underserved areas, where we see many seriously ill patients who could have benefited from seeing a doctor earlier,” Andric said. “We hope our new location in Belle Glade will make it easier for patients to receive the preventive care that may save their life.”
The district also provides acute care at Lakeside Medical Center, the county’s only public hospital, serving the rural Glades’ communities.
For more information, visit www.brumbackclinics.org. While walk-ins are welcome, the clinics recommend that patients make an appointment by calling (561) 642-1000.
ABOVE: Local dignitaries assist Brumback Clinics Chairman David Kendle in cutting the ceremonial ribbon.