For more than 24 years now, Wildflower Healthcare has been changing lives in St. Johns County by through providing free medical and dental services to those who would go without. Every day, they offer such crucial care as diagnostics, women’s health, cardiology, primary care, audiology, dermatology and mental health, as well as dental exams, hygiene, extractions, and fillings. Wildflower Healthcare also reaches out to the community by offering prevention and education clinics. Committing each day to their mission of ensuring access to quality, compassionate healthcare to the community is no small task, but the lives that Wildflower reaches are changed for the better.
Many locals believe that Wildflower’s work mostly touches the lives of the homeless population, but, in fact, they are less than 3% of their patients. The majority of Wildflower patients are part-time employees and those who work for employers that do not offer medical or dental coverage. In an area that relies heavily on the continued success of its hospitality and retail industry, this service is essential to help locals thrive right alongside the growth of the county. “That is why we set up free Pop-Up Flu Clinics in October,” says Wildflower’s Executive Director Chris Mastoridis. “We know that these employees cannot afford to miss 5 days or more off from work, and for the employers, it becomes even more difficult to maintain staffing levels in and around holiday peak season.”
From January to June of this year, Wildflower Healthcare served 556 dental patients in 76 dental clinics, 829 medical patients in 104 medical clinics, conducted 1,085 healthcare screenings outside of clinics, and 32 vision screenings. Despite these large numbers of services provided, Wildflower’s administrative overhead is among the lowest in St. Johns County, and they are largely staffed by volunteers. In fact, in that January to June timeframe, volunteers logged over 1436 hours. The low overhead allows them to provide a value of over $8 of medical and/or dental care for every $1 donated to the organization. “I think that speaks volumes about why we have been around for over 24 years in the community,” says Chris.
But Wildflower’s mission cannot be attained alone. On Thursday, November 7, Wildflower Healthcare will host their annual Gift of Health Gala at the Embassy Suites Resort on St. Augustine Beach. Joining them at the gala will be guest speaker Tim Tebow, a renowned Florida Gator and the first college sophomore to win the Heisman trophy in 2007. Tim went on to play professionally for the NFL and is currently a college football analyst for the SEC Network. “We feel blessed that Tim Tebow has agreed to be our guest speaker at our 2nd Annual Gift of Health Gala,” says Chris. “Tim is very selective in the causes he supports, and, after seeing how closely our mission was aligned with the work he does with children all over the world, there was a mutual interest in being a part of this year’s event.”
Proceeds from the evening will go directly to support Wildflower Healthcare’s general fund. Individual tickets as well as sponsorships are available at a variety of levels and Platinum Level sponsors will enjoy a VIP meet and greet with autographed memorabilia.
The Gift of Health Gala will be held at the Embassy Suites Oceanfront Resort St. Augustine Beach on Thursday, November 7, 2019 from 6:30-9:30pm.
To purchase tickets visit the Wildflower Healthcare website at www.wildflowerhealthcare.org. For questions and sponsorship opportunities please call 904-257-5960.