By: Charlene Cristobal
August 6, 2014
LIVE OAK, Fla. -- Suwannee County residents are speaking out about the need for a new health center.
"I think it would a great thing to have," says resident Barbara Givens. "We won't have to go out of town and it would be very convenient for us."
The convenience? Right now, the only medical center in Live Oak is Shands, but they don't have a pediatrician. This means that residents who need their children to be seen by a doctor need to travel to Lake City or over an hour over to Gainesville. City officials have proposed that the clinic be housed in Live Oak Square off Howard Street -- which currently only houses a few stores like a Dollar General, nail salon and dentist -- and is about 10 minutes away from Shands.
"Someone told me, you have all of Suwannee County that come to Gainesville," says Keith Mixon, Chairman of the Live Oak Community Redevelopment Association. "They visit the doctor, they visit the dermatologist, pediatricians and cardiologist...and they leave your city. Your city needs to change that."
And Mixon's goal is to change this. Mixon has been working for over two years with city officials to build a clinic in the barren Live Oak Plaza. Mixon says that the clinic would not only help out residents but also the economy in Live Oak. He says that the clinic will draw more businesses to the plaza and allow it to thrive and be an anchor for the community.
The proposed clinic would have 15 exam rooms and three doctors, one of which will be a much needed pediatrician.
Officials said they will present a preliminary budget to the council next Tuesday to see if they can keep moving forward with the project.