Genesis Health Services, Inc. was incorporated as a Florida not-for-profit corporation on March 8, 1994 to provide supportive transitional housing for adult males and females seeking recovery from alcohol or other drug abuse. Such individuals often- times had co-occurring persistent and severe mental illnesses. This initial period saw a great under-service within the community of the HIV/AIDS population with the above-described recovery needs. Genesis Recovery Center was the first residential recovery center in Sarasota County targeting and conducting outreach activities to house the HIV/AIDS substance abusers. The housing program was staffed with a volunteer live-in manager and volunteer counselors. Total financial support for the program was in the form of residents’ fees assessed on a sliding-scale based upon income. The housing program was discontinued in 2002 when the need for such housing diminished with the opening of over 200 beds between the years of 1996-2002 by other providers, as well as the lessening of discrimination against the HIV/AIDS population in the allocation of those beds. Current Genesis operations include:
Genesis Medical Clinic
Since 1996, the clinic has served the indigent and working poor that are not eligible for Medicaid assistance and cannot afford to pay the full costs of expensive medical services nor pay the monthly premiums for health insurance. In the summer of 1996, Genesis began operation of a 750 sq. ft. medical clinic in collaboration with Venice Bon Secours Hospital in the Nokomis community, providing primary medical services, laboratory assessments, radiology services and HIV testing services. Five volunteer doctors and three nurses with ancillary office and support staff provided all clinic services. Funding for operations came from patient fees that were charged on a sliding scale based upon income and family size. Those with an inability to pay could barter volunteer hours at the clinic or residential treatment program. The clinic was moved to the Newtown area of Sarasota in October 2000 and started clinic operations in January 2001. Storage USA donated 2200 sq. ft. of medical/dental office space to Genesis for a period of one year. At that location, Genesis has been designated as a clinic operating in an “area of critical need” by the Florida Board of Medicine. Primary medical and mental health services are available on a sliding-fee scale at our Sarasota Clinic. The clinic also operates as a free HIV/AIDS testing site. A community pharmaceutical assistance program is also available at the clinic. The clinic is staffed by 4 physicians, 1 psychiatrist, 1 registered nurse, 2 nursing assistants, 3 mental health counselors, and 5 ancillary staffers.
Genesis Dental Clinic
In operation in Nokomis since 1998, the dental clinic serves the indigent and working poor that are not eligible for Medicaid assistance and cannot afford to pay the full costs of expensive dental services nor pay the monthly premiums or co-pays for dental insurance. For this service population our clinic is a provider of affordable comprehensive dental services such as; extractions, fillings, cleanings, oral surgery procedures, crowns, partials and root canals for uninsured adults. Our dentists opened to a waiting-list of 150 persons. The Plantation Community Foundation, The Women’s Club of Sarasota, Inc., and the Venice Presbyterian Church contributed start-up funding for the Nokomis Clinic, which consists of three operatories and three x-ray units. Other support is generated through patient fees that are typically 15% of usual and customary dental fees. Fundraisers and private donations have also contributed to the operation of the clinic. All equipment was donated by area dentists and dental supply companies. The dental clinic is staffed by 2 dentists, 2 hygienist, 2 assistants, and 3 ancillary staffers.
Physicians & Dentists Mentoring Program
Youth mentoring program operating since 2004 during the summer for 20-hours per week for six weeks. Initial funding support for our youth activities was provided by Gulfcoast South Area Health Education Center and the Eluned & Edward Russell Charitable Foundation. The summer camp initially focused on health careers and later expanded to include other science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. The program enrolled 20 middle and high school students. Field trips to other medical and science-related facilities were also provided.
In 2007, support for the students grew to include funding for the program’s expansion to a year-round activity. This assistance enabled program coordinators to work with public school administrators and other trained staff in support of ensuring student success.
As a practicum, practitioners introduce the students to the fundamentals of their specialty to include the basic terminology and an introduction of what it took for them to establish a career in that particular field. Each student is required to keep a daily journal of what they have learned, which include any cogent impressions and new terminology they have learned.
During the year, the students hear presentations on various topics including, Preparation for Post-Secondary Education, Budgeting/Finance, HIPAA Laws/Compliance, and Confidentiality. In addition, all participants will receive HIV 101, basic first aid class and vital signs training during the summer camp.
The Physicians & Dentists Mentoring Program is intended to introduce low-income and/or minority youth to a variety of STEM careers by using shadowing, career orientation, and role-modeling to encourage the participants to plan for such careers.
Breast, Examination, and Referral Project (BEaR Project)
This project is inclusive of complete breast and GYN examinations, health education, and referrals for mammographies. The program particularly targets those women who are under-insured or uninsured with an emphasis on the Hispanic and African –American women residing in Manatee and Sarasota Counties, regardless of immigration status.
The constituency includes all women within Manatee & Sarasota Counties who qualify under the poverty guidelines, with an emphasis on Latinas and African- Americans. There is an emphasis on women < 40 years of age, especially with familial breast cancer and/ or symptoms, regardless of immigration status.
The Breast Examination, Education, and Referral Project, since 2004, serves those women who fall through the cracks of the current health care environment: earning too much to quality for any of the indigent programs, yet don’t earn enough to afford out-of-pocket pay for a mammography, Pap, and pelvic examination.
Comprised of ethnic minority para-professionals, the Gatekeepers assist in a deeper community outreach in health education, community awareness activities, and in linking their neighbors and contacts to indicated health services. The gatekeepers reside in the most under-served areas of our community and have many key contacts. Specific health areas in which the Gatekeepers are trained to participate are; HIV/AIDS, fetal and infant well-being, diabetes, breast/cervical cancer, and cardiovascular.