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Healthcare Network of SWFL helping thousands of families in need of medical care

We can all understand what it is like to get hit with a big doctor’s bill, but for some— just going is not an option.

A new medical center is getting ready to open its doors in Golden Gate and they serve everyone, even if you don’t have insurance.

An option that provides a big relief for some.

“It really took a big weight off my shoulders,” said Susan Gjertsen, who is a patient at The Health Care Network in Golden Gate.

Gjertsen was diagnosed with M.S. three years ago, and now she uses a walker and forgets even the simplest tasks.

“I had to once learn…re-learn how to use a screwdriver. I sat there on the floor crying,” said Gjertsen.

Her poor health meant trying to file for disability, and in order to do that, you can’t work and therefore have no insurance.

“Having that sliding scale fee really open door,” said Gjertsen.

That open door was the Healthcare Network of SWFL. Even if you don’t have insurance, for a small fee you can see a primary care doctor, dentist, or even a psychologist.

“People shouldn’t have to choose between going to a necessary doctor’s appointment and putting food on the table,” said Dr. Emily Ptaszek, President and CEO of Healthcare Network of SWFL.

The Healthcare Network helps 50,000 adults like Susan—to children in Collier County.

In a month they will help even more people when they open a new medical center in Golden Gate.

“There’s basically one pediatric office in the area, that I’m aware of and that’s our office,” Dr. Ptaszek said.

60 percent of all Collier children go to the doctors at one of the Health Network’s practices. That is why the Naples Children and Education Foundation donates to them.

NCEF shares a similar mission: Transform the life of underprivileged kids.

“We know that if a child is not feeling well or is in pain or can’t see the board in school, they’re not going to be able to produce,” said Maria Jimenez-Lara, CEO of The Naples Children and Education Foundation.

Jiminez-Lara and her team at NCEF have raised and given out $200 million to various programs targeting children.

And for the first time on Tuesday, you can hear how that money has made an impact at the NaplesNEXT Festival.

Right after those three panels, the keynote speaker will take the stage. This year it is General John Kelly.

Our partners at Gulfshore Life Magazine are proud to sponsor the NaplesNEXT festival, which is on Monday and Tuesday.

 

Reporter:Lindsey Sablan
Writer:Lincoln Saunders
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