Three groups come together to fill medical need in Naples

Neighborhood Health Clinic and St. Matthew’s House have formed an alliance with Millennium Physician Group to address a need for diagnostic imaging.

Millennium will open a new Women’s Imaging Center in April at 4330 U.S. 41 E. to serve Neighborhood Health Clinic patients who need radiology services.

The arrangement between the two nonprofit organizations — a clinic for the needy and a homeless recovery organization — along with the physician practice is an example of how different entities can work together for the benefit of the community, said Leslie Lascheid, chief executive officer of Neighborhood, at 121 Goodlette-Frank Road.

“It was an honest-to-goodness answer to our prayers,” she said. “We are so very fortunate that Millennium agreed to collaborate on radiology with the clinic to better serve our patients.”

Dr. Alejandro Perez-Trepichio, Naples regional chief medical officer for Millennium, said the physician practice had been looking for building space when it was approached by Neighborhood and told about the East Naples building. The building had been donated in 2016 to St. Matthew’s.

“The building, the location, and the state-of-the-art technology really will help Millennium expand our services for the residents in Naples,” Perez-Trepichio said in a statement.

Several unconnected events brought the three organizations together.

Neighborhood, which offers medical care to working residents of Collier County who are uninsured, needed to find a new imaging center last year.

The clinic had been using Naples Diagnostic Imaging Center, but the relationship ended when NDIC was acquired by the NCH Healthcare System in early 2017. Various imaging centers were filling the void, but a more structured arrangement was needed, Lascheid said.

Neighborhood also had an opportunity to buy state-of-the-art radiology equipment from GE Healthcare at a discounted price and was able to use a gift to the clinic for the expense, said Nancy Lascheid, the clinic co-founder with her late husband, Dr. William Lascheid.

“We (received) money we were not expecting, and it was to be used at our discretion,” she said.

In 2016, St. Matthew’s was given the building at 4330 U.S. 41 E., which had been built and used as a radiology center.

For years the clinic has been providing medical care to St. Matthew’s residents, so the two nonprofits worked it out for the clinic to use 3,000 square feet in the building for its new imaging equipment.

Neighborhood approached Millennium about running the center. The location will be Millennium’s new imaging center for women in Naples, and clinic patients will be served.

“Millennium is committed to being a good community partner and ensuring our residents in Naples have the very best access to high quality health care and imaging,” Perez-Trepichio said.

The arrangement is a good fit for everyone involved, said Vann Ellison, president and chief executive officer of St. Matthew’s.

“That is what we are supposed to be doing,” he said. “Let’s get together and do good stuff.”

Millennium will lease the building space from St. Matthew’s. Because the equipment belongs to Neighborhood, Millennium staff will do imaging for Neighborhood’s patients at no charge to the clinic, Leslie Lascheid said.

The arrangement will be in place until Neighborhood finishes an expansion of its clinic on Goodlette-Frank, she said. Eventually the radiology equipment will be moved into the new clinic space, she said.

Millennium is one of Florida’s largest group practices, with 300 doctors in dozens of locations along the state’s west coast.