Founded in 1972, Central Florida Health Care started responding to critical healthcare gaps identified by the agricultural community. A local citrus processing firm recognized the importance of adequate health care, social services, and childcare for farmworkers in Frostproof, Florida. The first clinic opened with a doctor and a nurse and began serving the farmworkers in the Frostproof community.
The organization now has 15 sites in Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties, including one unique Community School Health Center located at Crystal Lake Elementary School in Lakeland. CFHC also has two mobile healthcare units to serve the most rural areas of the tri-county site.
Services include medical, dental (pediatric and adult), behavioral health, OB/GYN, nutritional counseling, and optometry. In addition, CFHC’s Community Health Centers offer quality patient-centered care for every stage of life. Onsite labs and full pharmacy services provide convenience for patients and busy families. Translation services are available for all languages, and specially trained Navigators (Community Health Workers) assist patients at no charge with everything from forms to transportation. These services ensure that access to health care is not a barrier to treatment.
In addition to providing health care services, CFHC partners with the United Way and Feeding Tampa Bay (FTB) through the George W. Jenkins End Hunger Initiative. CFHC hosts FTB events twice a month at ten different locations throughout Polk and Hardee Counties.
Staff members are the heart of Central Florida Health Care! The organization employs nearly 500 full-time employees. Growth is due to proactive leadership initiated by CEO Ann Claussen, who came on board in 2014. With the assistance of a strong Senior Management Team, oversight by the Board of Directors, and dedicated staff, the organization reaches new benchmarks each year.
In 1973, Central Florida Health Care, Inc. was recognized as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. The organization receives funding from HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration), local financing, reimbursement from insurance companies, and payment from patients who have no insurance and qualify through a sliding fee scale.
In 2021, CFHC provided care for more than 45,000 medical patients and more than 29,000 dental patients. Staff members take great pride in following the organization’s mission, vision, and overarching goal by seeking out those who need our services.
CFHC remains dedicated to identifying grants and funding opportunities that will support current endeavors and assist in expanding services for the community.