Serving the ‘Faceless Community’

Neighborhood Health Clinic’s expanded services include radiology, gynecology and more

Neighborhood Health Clinic has been in an ongoing state of expansion since it began in 1998.

In support of its mission to serve the working poor, the clinic’s newly built second floor is set to open in October, enhancing existing services, including gynecology and radiology.

“The idea that my parents had is to offer as many services to our patients as possible, so that they can be completely treated while they are here,” says CEO Leslie Lascheid. “That way, they don’t miss work or have to go to several locations, which may be difficult, since (many) don’t have access to transportation.”

Following a review with its board of acclaimed physicians and health care professionals, it became clear that Neighborhood Health Clinic needed to advance its gynecological services.

The new area will allow for greater privacy and one-on-one time between patient and provider — two things essential for comprehensive gynecological care.

Women make up 63% of the clinic’s patients. The majority are in their late 40s and older, a critical time of life when gynecological care is most needed. The new wing will treat non-pregnant patients ages 19-64 in a variety of services that include breast and pelvic examinations.

The second-floor space will also support radiology, cardiology, psychology and dental care, along with wound care services.

Well over half of Neighborhood Health Clinic’s patients are diabetic and have been for several years, the CEO says.

A typical female Neighborhood Health Clinic patient is in her late 40s, low-income, working and uninsured.

She is a Type 2 diabetic who, because she’s been unable to have past treatment, is living with three to five other chronic diseases.

On her one day off, she can visit the clinic and be evaluated for diabetes-related wounds, oral issues and high blood pressure; have a gynecological checkup and blood work done (and get the results that same day); and visit the pharmacy.

“What we do is patient driven,” says clinic co-founder Nancy Lascheid, Leslie’s mother. “What (issues are brought) through the door is what we handle. We are not an emergency or urgent care facility. We take care of very sick people, and that’s our mission.”

Neighborhood Health Clinic patients are often a part of what Leslie calls Collier County’s “faceless community.” They are individuals who work service jobs, making the lives of others easier by taking care of their parents, children and/or homes. They serve others in restaurants or gas stations or work in construction or harvesting produce.

“These are hardworking people with families that people don’t see, even though they make all of our lives better and take care of us,” Leslie says. “They are sick, and they are working hard to keep it together.”