POINCIANA – When someone uses the term “urgent care,” they might at first assume that refers to a medical emergency, maybe even a life threatening one.
But that, said Linda Vendl, is what large hospitals with their emergency room departments are available for.
On the other hand, an “urgent care” center – like Urgent Care Poinciana, which has offices at 3759 Pleasant Hill Road in Poinciana – has a very different mission, said Vendl, the marketing director for Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center, the hospital in Haines City.
“Urgent Cares are for non-life or limb threatening injuries, so somebody having a heart attack would not be a candidate for it,” she said.
On the other hand, an urgent care center could be the ideal place for a local resident to see a physician after hours if they’re having a problem, or when then own primary care provider is overbooked, she added.
“Urgent Care centers are extremely helpful when your own physician’s office is full and cannot take you in,’’ Vendl said.
Heart of Florida hospital’s parent company, Healthcare Facilities, operates several Urgent Care centers in this region, including the one in Poinciana, which opened its doors two years ago.
In an effort to introduce more area residents to Urgent Care Poinciana, its staff and its services, the center will be hosting a free health fair on Saturday, Aug. 11 from 8-11 a.m.
The public in invited, Vendl said, to come out and meet the physicians who practice there, to tour the building on Pleasant Hill Road, and to have some fun as well, by registering for door prizes.
Best of all, she said, the people who attend can take advantage of free health screenings. There will be blood pressure and glucose screenings offered free of charge for the entire three hour event, and also available will be “Back-to-School” physicals at a cost of $20 each. No appointments are necessary, just show up and register for the physical, Vendl said.
There will be physicians at the health fair who specialize in primary care, pediatrics, endocrinology, urology and cardiology.
Vendl noted that Heart of Florida hospital has offered similar health fairs in the past, and this one is “on a smaller scale, since it’s at a smaller facility, of course. But we’ll have free glucose screenings and we’ll have our physicians out there who are interested in servicing Poinciana patients, and there are some physicians who are on our staff in this area who will help out with their needs on Saturday.’’
Vendl said the hospital wanted to use the health fair to introduce more residents in this transient region to the Urgent Care concept, and the kinds of services these offices can provide.
“This is the first time we’re doing it out there,” she said. “It’s to build awareness in the community of what this clinic can offer, and also to let people know there are other physicians in the community eager to assist them with their health care needs.”
It’s also a way to remind Poinciana residents that Haines City – and Heart of Florida hospital – are relatively close by.
“We’re really not so far from Poinciana,” Vendl said of the hospital at 40100 U.S. 27 in Haines City.
“A lot of people look at coming over to the Haines City area from that Poinciana market, and it is a short drive when you consider some of the other distances they have to travel for medical care,” she said.
The lack of readily accessible medical care offices has been a frequent complaint in Poinciana, a growing community with 10 villages across Polk and Osceola counties, that are now home to more than 84,000 residents. In addition to Heart of Florida hospital, other nearby hospitals include Florida Hospital Celebration Health, Osceola Regional Medical Center in downtown Kissimmee, and Winter Haven Hospital.
However, Poinciana is getting its own hospital, the community’s first. The Poinciana Medical Center is now under construction right off Cypress Parkway, and is expected to open in the summer of 2013. That facility, which will include a separate emergency room department, is being built by Osceola Regional Medical.
Until the hospital gets fully built, having clinics where local residents can go for non-emergency treatment is important, said Nick Murdock, the chairman of the Poinciana Economic Development Alliance, a non-profit group working to bring more jobs and services to the community.
“It’s good they are here,” Murdock said. “It’s been a big help for the community.”
In the meantime, Vendl said Urgent Care has a lot to offer local residents who have non-emergency medical situations – including at Saturday’s health fair.
“We’ll have the Back to School health physical for $20,” she said. “We’re offering those at a discounted rate to try to get everybody healthy and back in good form before school opens.”
For more information about the event or directions to Urgent Care Poinciana, call 407-344-5563.
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