GOOD HEALTH CLINIC OFFERS FREE HEALTHCARE FOR LOW-INCOME KEYS RESIDENTS

Nurse practitioner Justine Foxwell, left, and patient medical coordinator Melissa Sanchez are ready to welcome patients at the Good Health Clinic’s Marathon location. ALEX RICKERT/Keys Weekly.

In 2022, it seems that many, if not all, health care facilities are often overrun. But for Good Health Clinic, a facility serving low-income uninsured patients in the Keys, the doors are wide open.

Located in Tavernier with a satellite clinic in Marathon established in 2018, the clinic is committed to providing health care to local families most in need. Uninsured patients who fall below the 200% federal poverty guideline threshold – for example, less than $2,265 per month in gross income for a single individual – are invited to apply for a year of free health care. There are no deductibles, no co-pays, and nearly 100 volunteer medical providers throughout the Keys and Miami-Dade area to ensure that patients receive the care they need.

“The big ones we especially pride ourselves on are patients who have been neglected or failed by the health care system,” said program and development manager Brittany Parker.

Services arranged by the clinic vary widely, but the staff stands by their patients through complications ranging from basic diabetic care and assistance with prescriptions to complex cancer therapies at the Miami Cancer Institute.

Funded by grants and donations, the clinic served 878 patients in 2021, with more than $3.1 million in donated medical services and more than $1.2 million in pharmaceutical donations. Still, the organization would like to see more patients walk through their doors, particularly at the Marathon clinic.

“I want to make sure that people know we’re there,” said Parker, noting that the satellite office typically sees between two and eight patients a day at the moment. “We’re here to help you. Please come in.”

Good Health Clinic’s services are open to Keys residents only. Potential patients may apply at thegoodhealthclinic.org/become-a-patient/. For those without income or unable to provide official tax documents, independent income affidavits are available to assist applicants as they move through the process. The Tavernier office at 91555 Overseas Hwy. is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., while the Marathon satellite clinic in the Gulfside Village Plaza is open on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Expansion of the Marathon clinic’s hours in the near future is a possibility in the works.

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Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.