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Indian River County closing health clinics to save money

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Posted at 6:36 PM, May 24, 2019

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. — Indian River County’s Health Department is closing health clinics in an effort to save as much as $1.7 million.

"This is something that has occurred to a lot of health departments across the state of Florida," said Miranda Hawker, Indian River County’s Health Administrator.

Hawker said declines in revenue from Medicaid, money from the local taxing district, and client fees at the clinics led to the tough decision.

"It's not a decision that's made lightly," Hawker said. "It's obviously a very big decision and one we carefully considered, but when we see it's finally unsustainable, we can’t continue that."

The Gifford Health Clinic and the dental clinic, both in Vero Beach, are scheduled to close Aug. 15.

"I think it's going to be very devastating to people that it’s closing," says Jonterria Cross outside the Gifford facility.

Miranda Hawker said Indian River County will continue to offer care in core areas such as vaccinations.

Currently, Hawker said, two organizations on the Treasure Coast are talking about possibly stepping in to continue care at the clinics.