BayCare Health System and Catholic Charities, Diocese of St. Petersburg are opening a new dedicated location for La Esperanza Clinic in Wimauma, providing free health care to low-income residents of Southeastern Hillsborough County without employer-provided insurance. La Esperanza Clinic, which opened in 2013, has been housed temporarily at Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission in Wimauma. It will open in August at its new location, 16640 U.S. 301 S. in Wimauma. The English translation for La Esperanza is ‘The Hope.’
“Establishing a permanent space for La Esperanza Clinic shows our unwavering commitment to serve the most vulnerable members of our communities,” said Collen Walters, vice president of mission and ethics at BayCare. “The journey to find a site that was easily accessible has been a long but important one. Along with our Catholic Charities partners, faith community nurses and the Allegany Franciscan Ministries, we never lost sight of the impact that a permanent home for the clinic would have on those in need in Wimauma.”
In addition to BayCare’s faith community nurses providing services at La Esperanza, doctors affiliated with the nearby St. Joseph’s Hospital-South in Riverview provide services there.
“Many doctors affiliated with our hospital volunteer and provide examinations and other health care services at La Esperanza,” said Phil Minden, St. Joseph’s Hospital-South president. “These doctors are compassionate, caring and have with an incredible sense of responsibility. We can’t thank them enough for what they do at La Esperanza. They are true representatives of our mission here at BayCare and St. Joseph’s Hospital-South.”
For more than 20 years, BayCare and Catholic Charities have provided free medical clinics to underserved and uninsured Hillsborough County residents. Beginning in 2000 at San Jose Mission in Dover, the service later expanded to La Esperanza Clinic in Wimauma. Services at these clinics include primary medical care, routine well woman exams, health promotion, disease prevention and health screenings for high blood pressure and diabetes.
Since 2000, the free medical clinics have served more than 40,000 people and saved dozens of lives.
“We are proud to help address, in partnership with BayCare Health System and others, the ongoing health care crisis,” said Maggie Rogers, Catholic Charities executive director. “Everyone deserves to have access to good health care. This move to the new clinic site will allow us to better fulfill our mission of providing basic health care to the underserved in our community.”
For more information, visit www.baycare.org.