By Gwen Rollings
Deborah Meegan, executive director of the Brandon Outreach Clinic (BOC), never should wonder if she will leave a legacy as she departs after 18 years in her current position.
From an early age, Meegan had a passion to help make the world a better place, and even as retirement looms on the horizon, her concern is for the uninsured in our community.
She said, “I would love for more uninsured people to know about BOC so we could provide them with the healthcare they need and would like more of our community members to be aware of this wonderful organization that has been taking care of the uninsured for over 32 years.”
Meegan’s education positioned her for a life dedicated to others. After graduating with a degree in social work, she immediately began working with the underserved population. After achieving a master’s degree in business administration, she was employed as a financial case manager for Brandon Regional Hospital for over 17 years prior to joining the Brandon Outreach Clinic.
Her affiliations over 40 years include the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, the Tampa Bay HealthCare Collaborative, the Florida Association of Free and Charitable Clinics and the Brandon Rotary Club.
Yet, 18 years ago, when Meegan came to BOC, she knew she was meant to be there. Everything was tracking on papers.
She said, “We had a big clinic space not being utilized and the need in our community for medical services for uninsured was growing rapidly.”
So many improvements have been made under Meegan’s leadership, allowing the clinic to go from opening several hours a week to four days a week now. Meegan is proud of these accomplishments because they were all done on a nonprofit, bare-bones budget with essentially volunteer staffing.
In a Tampa Bay Times article, Meegan said, “My motivation comes from two places. The first is I work with wonderful volunteers who make an incredible and important difference in the lives of so many people. They show up day after day, year after year and ask for nothing in return except the opportunity to help others. I am also motivated by knowing that every day, there are so many people who need the clinic’s medical help to survive. The work we do is so important. That’s what keeps me going.”
Meegan’s legacy will continue with all those who came and will come to receive the gift of health.
For information on the clinic, visit www.theoutreachclinic.com or call 654-1388.