Drug review part of wellness fair

By Marilyn Meyer
The Ledger


LAKELAND — Typically, Central Florida Health Care serves patients who are uninsured or underinsured, have low incomes, are on Medicaid, or for other reasons have had difficulty establishing a medical home.


There is no shortage of potential patients, considering nearly 100,000 Polk County residents fall into those categories. Still many people are unaware of the services provided through the federally qualified community health clinic, said Sherry Reeder, administrator at Central Florida Health Clinic in Lakeland — one of 10 clinics the nonprofit organization operates in Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties.


To help raise awareness, the Lakeland clinic is hosting a wellness fair, including a brown-bag drug review on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.


“We are trying to get the word out that we are here,” said Reeder.

The clinic is at 1129 N. Missouri Ave., but most people would recognize it as the two-story blue building directly across North Florida Avenue from Bryant stadium. It has been the clinic’s home for two years after a move from Parker Street.


The clinic, which is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, typically sees about 100 patients a day, she said. Patients are charged on a sliding scale, depending on their ability to pay.


The wellness fair features a brown-bag event in which everyone is invited to bring in all the medicines they take — including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, inhalers, ear and eye drops, insulin and other injectibles, and topical creams and ointments — for the clinic’s pharmacist, Crystal Willis, to evaluate for possible drug interactions, side effects, improper dosages and duplications.


She also will look for ways to lower medication costs.


Health care navigators will be onsite to help people sign up for Medicaid, Medicare or for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, said Ana Kelly, nurse manager at the clinic.


Twenty-two other organizations will be at the event with information about their services — everything from quit-smoking programs to pediatric sunburn prevention to breast exam information.


Hours for the event will be 1 to 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.


— Marilyn Meyer may be contacted at marilyn.meyer@theledger.com or 863-802-7558. Follow on Twitter @marilyn_ledger. Link to article.