110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Pat Andrews
posted Nov 1, 2012 - 11:37:09am
Good Samaritan Health Clinic opened in DeLand in 2007, in the little building at 312 W. New York Ave., owned by St. Peter Catholic Church.
The clinic’s mission is to provide health care for uninsured adults who don’t qualify for Medicaid.
The clinic was the vision of Father Tom Connery of St. Peter Catholic Church, Mary Gusky, who is now the clinic administrator, nurse practitioner Cathy Puhr, Dr. Lawrence Gilliard, Pastor John Joslin, and others who believed, and were willing to put their faith to work.
The clinic was a success.
When the need for routine dental care became achingly apparent, under the leadership of Gusky, dentist Dr. Michael Kelly and coordinators Martha Aldrich and Chantell Martin, Good Samaritan opened a dental clinic at 1245 S. Volusia Ave. in Orange City in September 2009.
At that time, Gusky and the others searched for a facility big enough to house both medical and dental operations, but couldn’t find one. They did find good digs for the dental clinic in Orange City in the meantime — the facility had last been used as a dental office.
However, the dental clinic has only 1,000 square feet, leaving little room for dentists and hygienists to work. The health clinic in DeLand occupies only 2,655 square feet, and is also pinched for space.
Then volunteers found the former Coldwell Banker real-estate office. It has 5,086 square feet, is near Florida Hospital-DeLand, is on the bus line — which is helpful for many clients — and it has plenty of parking.
Gusky didn’t want to talk about the purchase price because of a confidentiality agreement with the seller, Richard Vincik. He was asking around $399,000 for the building in August 2011, when Gusky first looked at it. Negotiations have been going on since then.
“We realized it was perfect for us,” Gusky said.
Having one facility “to put the dental and medical together for continuity of care is important,” she said.
Good Samaritan will bring in contractors to begin renovations right after the closing. The building will need some new plumbing and electric to equip it for dental work. Some partitions will be knocked out to make a reception and waiting area, and other small improvements will be made, but otherwise, the building is in good shape, and will need just minor tweaking.
The plan is to open the new facility the first of the year, “God willing,” Gusky said.
She’s grateful to TD Bank’s Lisa Peterson, who was enthusiastic in her support of the plan, and also the bank’s Mark Figenscher, who helped Good Samaritan get a loan to finance the purchase.
All Good Samaritan workers, including Gusky, the doctors, nurses, hygienists, and the office staff, volunteer their time. The value of that time has added up to $1.252 million so far, Gusky said.
Since it opened five years ago, the medical clinic has acquired 1,300 patients who had made 6,404 visits as of mid-October. The dental clinic, since 2009, has served 700 patients who had made 1,620 dental visits.
It takes money to buy and operate a clinic facility, and Good Samaritan continues the way it began — as an act of faith.
For more information, call Good Samaritan Clinics at 386-738-6990. Good Samaritan Clinics is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. To make a tax-deductible contribution, send a check to Good Samaritan at 312 W. New York Ave., DeLand, FL 32720.
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