How did Healthcare Network celebrate its 45th anniversary in 2022? By adding more services to our already comprehensive care, furthering our mission and making it more convenient for all families in Collier County to access the services they need.
“We serve nearly 50% of Collier County’s children, and more than one-third of soon-to-be moms are patients of Healthcare Network,” said CEO Jamie Ulmer, who joined the center last July. “Considering the rapid growth in the area, it’s imperative that services be available to more people in more communities, particularly where access is limited, like in Ave Maria and Everglades City.”
Our services include family care, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, senior care, and pharmacy as well as dental care, traditional mental health services, and integrated behavioral health.
Recently, in order to better serve our families, we expanded our pediatric services. In September, Healthcare Network launched Pediatric Convenient Care and extended hours for pediatric dental services. Our Pediatric Convenient Care at the Nichols Community Health Center provides same-day care for infants, children, and teens with minor illnesses and injuries.
Since the practice was launched, we have seen about 40 patients a day, including walk-ins. If your child is sick or having a minor allergic reaction and is unable to see their provider, our new practice is a great same-day care option.
Through our Dental Care East office, we have extended pediatric appointments from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., so children will not need to miss valuable school time. Additionally, to help children feel at ease while receiving dental care, Healthcare Network, with great support from Naples Children and Education Foundation (NCEF), will soon provide sedation dentistry at our pediatric dental practice, located in the Nichols Community Health Center.
Sedation services are fitting for pediatric patients who may suffer from severe dental anxiety, need several procedures to be done during a single visit, and/or have a medical, physical or emotional disability that limits their ability to understand directions and remain calm.
Children go through many important developmental milestones as they grow up, making accessible primary care services essential for their health and well-being. However, access to primary care for children can be difficult, as Collier County is federally designated as a Medically Underserved Area/Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) for primary care, especially in the Golden Gate communities.
To address this shortage, we opened the Nichols Community Health Center in 2020. This facility offers a “one-stop shop” for pediatric medical, behavioral, and dental health services. Well-child checkups and immunizations are available at this location as well as other Healthcare Network offices in Naples and Immokalee.
To better serve expectant mothers, our new maternal-fetal medicine program focuses on women with high-risk or complicated pregnancies, since specialty care is not always available to low-income mothers.
In addition, we offer a wide range of in-office procedures such as management of ectopic pregnancy, the Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) to prevent cervical cancer, and vulvar biopsy.
These procedures were previously only accessible to our patients at a hospital, where the cost to the patient was often prohibitive.
In addition to traditional offices, we also bring services into the community through our Community Outreach Team and various mobile units. The multilingual team bridges healthcare gaps through home visits, health fairs, and door-to-door canvassing.
Our Ronald McDonald Care Mobile© and Health and Smile Mobile have traveled to schools, community centers, and neighborhoods to deliver dental and medical care to underserved children and families.
As Collier County continues to grow, Healthcare Network is committed to being innovative in how we reach at-risk populations. We hope to engage more of the community in support of our mission to create a healthier community for the benefit of all. To learn more, visit healthcareswfl.org