Pinellas officials look to expand county health centers

10/29/13 Janelle Irwin
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Tags: Pinellas County Commission, healthcare, homeless, poverty


Gwendolyn Warren, head of Pinellas County's department of health and community services, wants to open community health centers in low income neighborhoods

photo by Janelle Irwin

The Pinellas County department of health and community services is recommending the county make some changes to healthcare programs to make preventative care more accessible in high poverty areas.

During a county commission workshop Tuesday agency head Gwendolyn Warren laid out plans that could use shuttered public schools in impoverished neighborhoods to provide comprehensive health services including dental, smoking cessation and mental health.

"It's to our advantage to have a medical clinic that is in walking distance of most of these neighborhoods so the folk don't have to rely on transportation. Secondly there is a disconnect. Whether historical, cultural, racial, I'm not sure, the poor communities have with major institutions so there's a reluctance and difficulty of some of our clients traversing some of the major medical facilities."

The proposal is part of a poverty report that shows Pinellas as having the state

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