New Pediatric Center in Gretna

Our top story involves a rare problem. A clinic in Gadsden County is having difficulty getting people to take advantage of free services.

Although pediatrician healthcare was added to the Gretna Wellness Center last month, as of Wednesday, physicians had not seen one patient.

You'd think last month's announcement of free pediatric healthcare services would keep the Gretna Wellness Clinic busy. However, Thursday was the first time anyone responded.

Dr. Harold Bland says he knows the needs are great in Gadsden County and wants to again put out the invitation.

Dr. Harold Bland says, “What we're really trying to do is fill the gap between people not getting those services and only going when children are really sick. We want to get people to utilize the clinic for healthcare maintenance.”

Shannon Price, a third-year FSU medical student, says, “It is so important for children to receive preventative healthcare because more complications can occur if something is overlooked. It can be potentially devastating.”

And while the pediatric services are not intended to replace a family physician, it's at least giving parents who need it a break.

Mother Midget Guenther says, “People in the situation who don't have the money right away, just moving from Ohio we don't have the money, so this was a great thing to hear about.”

The Gretna Wellness Center is operated by several groups including FAMU's nursing program and FSU's medical school. It is open Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon for pediatric visits.

You make an appointment by calling (850) 856-5552.