ENGLEWOOD — Residents who have been making the long trip to Murdock for medical care at the Charlotte County Health Department will have a much shorter commute now that its Englewood clinic has reopened as a full primary care facility.
About 24 people attended a grand re-opening ceremony Monday.
“We didn’t want to forget about West Charlotte County,” said Charlotte County Commissioner Christopher Constance.
The facility’s re-opening will help address transportation and financial concerns for West county residents, said Commissioner Bill Truex.
“I’m giving up some space in my office so that they can better utilize the facility,” said Truex, who operates an office part time at the West County Annex on San Casa Drive. Since the summer, the clinic was operating as a limited facility without a nurse practitioner and primary care physician on staff. In its limited capacity, it offered women’s health and immunizations. Englewood patients of the health department had to travel to the CCHD clinic on Loveland Boulevard in Port Charlotte.
Pamela Debus, a nurse practitioner, will be working full time at the Englewood clinic.
The Englewood clinic will offer care for adults and children with medical issues, chronic disease management, women’s health, immunizations for adults and children, physicals, checkups and flu shots. The clinic also serves Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clients on Mondays and Tuesdays.
“I hear a lot of patients say it’s difficult for them to get to Port Charlotte,” Debus said. “We’re here and we’re available for all the primary care once again in Englewood.”
The nine-year nurse practitioner said she will have four people on staff in Englewood, allowing her to put more focus on primary care.
“The first few weeks were challenging to learn the electronic health record, but we’re getting the hang of it now,” Debus said. “We have tried very hard to get the word out. We are open for business to treat the community’s primary care needs.”
Reopening the facility took six weeks including updating records electronically.
“During that time, we were seeing patients,” Debus said. “Just sort of sparingly… but we’re now in full gear and ready to go.”
Debus was hired partly because of her prior experience with low-income patients, said Dianne Nugent, director of nursing at Charlotte County Health Department.
Dr. Henry Kurban was hired in July to fill the vacant position of Charlotte County Health Department administrator.
“One of my goals is to try to focus more on the prevention and population level interventions,” Kurban said. “That’s one of my visions for the health department.”
The Englewood clinic will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Tuesdays.
To schedule an appointment at the Englewood clinic, patients are asked first to call 941-624-7200. For more information about health department programs and services, go to http://www.CharlotteCHD.com.