BELLE GLADE, Fla. — A multi-specialty medical practice is opening soon in Belle Glade via HCA Florida Palms West Hospital.
The practice, located at 1200 South Main Street, will be in the same building that has housed Dr. Martin Harland’s primary care since the 1980s.
"It was a mission, I believe,” he said. “I came from a poor community. I was a physician, they trained us to take care of rural areas that were underserved."
Harland’s mission continues 35 years later.
"With hard work and dedication and our county growing, and finally we have a CEO at Palms West, who is dedicated to rural communities," Harland said. "Palms West would lease an area 1200 to 1800 square feet and then bring the specialists."
The new facility will bring board-certified physicians specializing in various medical fields.
"They have invested in the building to put specialties like vascular surgery, orthopedic surgery—we live in a tough place to work, where there are a lot of orthopedic injuries,” said Harland. “Even OB-GYN, oncology surgery, gastroenterology and general surgery, if they make it, they will be on half days."
The family doctor says there's a need for accessible specialty care in the Glades.
"Some people cannot afford the gas to drive from Belle Glade into Wellington and then have somebody wait on them to see somebody,” Harland said. “It's a whole day, money, transportation."
Harland says the new practice will allow residents to easily get the care that they need.
"They can drive their bicycle here, they can be dropped off here," he said.
Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay is supportive. She's a Trustee on the HCA Florida Palms West Hospital Board.
"For a long time, the Glades residents have felt like they are sort of a forgotten community,” she said. “Trying to increase services, and access to those services, has been a priority of mine. So not only my relationship with Palms West Hospital but my relationship as their county commissioner. I'm really excited about their opportunity."
The office is currently undergoing a complete renovation and is expected to open in the fall.