Sand Lake Dermatology Center is proud to support Shepherd’s Hope, a nonprofit, faith-based organization of volunteers that exists to provide access to healthcare for the uninsured. Dr. Christopher Crotty began volunteering when Shepherd’s Hope first opened its doors 18 years ago. Since then, Shepherd’s Hope has grown to five separate clinics throughout Central Florida. After spending an evening at the Shepherd’s Hope Ocoee Health Center, I was inspired to regularly volunteer my time as well. I have now been providing care for patients of Shepherd’s Hope for over a year, and it has been quite a rewarding experience.
Patients who are eligible for services through Shepherd’s Hope have an income at or below 200% of the poverty level, are uninsured, or not eligible for government-assisted healthcare programs. Utilizing these criteria, Shepherd’s Hope has provided over 160,000 free medical visits since first opening in 1997. Patients are seen on a first-come, first-serve basis by volunteer medical providers including primary care physicians, virtually any medical specialist and even dentists. While clinic visits are at no cost, patients may be responsible for some diagnostic tests or prescription medications that are not able to be covered through the organization.
For patients with more complex dermatologic conditions that we are unable to appropriately treat at Shepherd’s Hope health centers, we can refer them to our office and take care of them free of charge. Thanks to the resources available at Sand Lake Dermatology Center, these patients who would otherwise not have access to dermatologic care or dermatologic surgery are able to receive proper medical care.
Dr. Crotty and I take great pride in volunteering at Shepherd’s Hope and our whole office stands behind us in supporting Shepherd’s Hope and its patients. Several of our staff members attended the ‘Famous Faces Masquerade Ball’ in October and had a great time celebrating and raising money for the organization. Supporting Shepherd’s Hope is one way we at Sand Lake Dermatology Center can help those who are falling through the cracks of the healthcare system.
If you know anyone who could benefit from Shepherd’s Hope or a medical provider who might be interested in donating his or her time, this is a very worthwhile opportunity. Information may be obtained from the website www.shepherdshope.org.
By: Nicole Hill, MPAS, PA-C