Florida International University
Liberty City is set to get a new health clinic under the state budget approved by Gov. Charlie Crist.
The budget includes $2.5 million to begin design and planning for the $12 million clinic, which is aimed at serving the medical needs of one of Miami’s most underserved communities.
“Liberty City is a needy and overlooked community, and I am not only determined, but willing and engaged with this project,” said state Sen. Frederica Wilson, who shepherded the plan through the budgeting process.
The clinic, set to open in 2012, will be on two county-owned lots at Northwest 27th Avenue and Northwest 74th Street.
Scheduled to be run by the Miami-Dade County Health Department, the clinic will be affiliated with the Jessie Trice Community Health Center and Jackson Memorial Hospital.
The 35,280-square-foot facility will replace three outdated facilities: the Juanita Mann Clinic, the Liberty City Health Center, which are both already closed, and the James E. Scott Center.
Open to anyone, the clinic will provide one-stop shopping for Liberty City residents who now receive care from multiple providers. It will be staffed by between 60 and 100 doctors, nurses and social workers. Fees will be based on patients’ ability to pay.
Chauncey Graham, an aide to Sen. Wilson, said the clinic will provide better coordination of health services, reduce health-care costs, and provide more effective public health education.
The $2.5 million in this year’s state budget covers only the initial stages of construction, but Lillian Rivera, administrator of the Miami-Dade County Health Department, said local officials will ask the state Legislature for another $9.5 million next year.
“This is a wonderful thing that is happening for Liberty City, and I promise that is going to become a reality,” she said.