Newsmaker Jamie Ulmer: “Primary Care Accessible to All”

At the December 1 annual meeting of the Press Club of Southwest Florida, Jamie Ulmer, the new President & CEO of Healthcare Network (HCN), was featured as the “Newsmaker.”

While Jamie started his new role in July, he admitted – with encouragement from others – to continuing to use the “new guy” label as he continues meeting people throughout the community. He said the timing for this role was perfect, as he moved from a smaller market in northern Florida to take on this expanded role with another Federally Qualified Healthcare Center (FQHC).

Jamie explained that there are 1,400 FQHCs across the country. FQHCs were started 50 years ago to address the healthcare needs of many – in rural and urban areas – who fell through the cracks for services typically available to those with insurance. HCN is celebrating its 45th anniversary, so it is one of the “grandfathers” among FQHCs, serving nearly 42,000 patients a year, among them about half of all children in Collier County. The first primary care clinics were housed in two trailers in Immokalee, serving migrant farmworkers.

As a patient-centered primary healthcare center, HCN has more than a dozen physical clinics throughout Collier County and provides medical, dental, behavioral health and pharmacy services. HCN patients account for nearly half of all baby deliveries at NCH’s Birth Center. HCN also has two large mobile units, including the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, supported by the Naples Children & Education Fund and Ronald McDonald Charities, to provide dental care at 16 Title 1 (low-income) schools and 21 Head Start locations.

The mobile unit is used by the Community Outreach Team to provide COVID-19 education and testing, as well as vaccines (tetanus, flu and other) and health screenings. This multilingual, culturally appropriate team has built trust in the community and is able to provide special connections to at-risk populations to ensure access to healthcare and social services.

Following Jamie’s presentation, retired CBS News Correspondent Bob Orr interviewed him and facilitated a Q & A session. Bob asked Jamie to talk about a few things he has already accomplished to help meet the needs of the community.

Jamie proudly talked about a new pediatric convenient care center that opened in September and already is busy, making it easier for parents to get their children in for care and back into school so they can get back to work. He also mentioned a new certification to provide medication-assisted treatment to those addicted to opioids, a growing problem locally and across the country.

The Press Club expresses its gratitude to Jamie for joining us at our annual meeting and we wish him continued success in his new role.

Click here to read more about the annual meeting, including election results and raffle highlights.

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