Health Care District of Palm Beach County reaches COVID-19 testing milestone

By Health Care District of Palm Beach County

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Brumback Clinics’ medical and support staff provides COVID-19 testing at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, April 2020.

WEST PALM BEACH — Since launching Palm Beach County’s largest COVID-19 drive-thru test site at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on March 31, the Health Care District of Palm Beach County’s Brumback Clinics met a milestone this week by providing over 60,000 tests to the community – all at no charge. This number amounts to over a quarter of all 231,777 people tested in the county. In addition to the ballpark, the Brumback Clinics offer walk up testing at the Belle Glade, West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Delray Beach and Lantana clinics, as well as in neighborhoods of need with the mobile health clinic, Scout.

“This milestone in testing is a direct result of the dedication and hard work of over 200 Brumback Clinics’ team members and Health Care District support staff,” said Belma Andrić, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President and Executive Director of Clinic Services for the Health Care District. “Our clinics serve all patients, with or without insurance, through telehealth, inpatient medical visits and COVID-19 testing. This effort aligns with our mission to serve residents in our community when they need us the most.”

This marks the first time the Health Care District, a unique and complex public health care system, has conducted wide-scale clinical testing that now includes seven sites. Thanks to the support of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the Florida Department of Emergency Management, Palm Beach County government, the Florida National Guard, and the Health Care District’s IT and call center teams, the Brumback Clinics had the ballpark testing site up and running in just three days.

“I am very proud of the speed with which we mobilized this complex testing initiative and the ongoing quality of our operations during this pandemic,” said Darcy J. Davis, the Health Care District’s Chief Executive Officer. “We have swabbed a lot of noses and it’s clear we will be on the frontlines of testing well into the future.”

“Testing is crucial to identifying cases, fostering quick treatment and supporting isolation to prevent spread,” said Leslie B. Daniels, Chair of the Health Care District Board of Commissioners. “The scale and efficiency of the Brumback Clinics’ testing operation is impressive, especially since demand has grown.”

Regina Umpierrez of Boynton Beach received testing at the Health Care District’s mobile clinic, Scout. The county, which provided the clinic on wheels through federal CARES Act funding, assigns the vehicle to different neighborhoods each weekday to enhance access to testing for residents in underserved areas.

“My testing experience was very good,” said Umpierrez, who wonders if she was exposed to COVID-19 while volunteering at a soup kitchen. “I like the service, the people and that they come close to my home.”

Residents are encouraged to schedule an appointment by calling the testing hotline at 561-642-1000. In the past month, the hotline has received calls from nearly 45,000 people. Anyone of any age can be tested at the following sites regardless if they have symptoms:

• C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics at Lakeside Medical Center, 39200 Hooker Hwy. in Belle Glade, walk-up site. By appointment only Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. Any age; need not be symptomatic.

• C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics – “Scout” Mobile Clinic Outreach, walk-up site, varying locations and hours as scheduled.

The Brumback Clinics are the medical home for some 50,000 adult and pediatric patients throughout Palm Beach County. Last year, the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) named the Brumback Clinics a “Health Center Quality Leader” for top 10% overall performance among all Federally Qualified Health Centers in the country. To learn more about the Brumback Clinics or to schedule an appointment for a medical telehealth or inpatient visit, call 561-642-1000 or visit www.BrumbackClinics.org.

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