IRMA: Clinic without power brings in mobile units to see patients

By Sara Belsole, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 4:30 PM EDT

No power, no problem.

A St. Petersburg clinic is not letting Hurricane Irma keep it from helping patients.

When staff at the Johnnie Ruth Clark Health Clinic came back to work Tuesday the building didn't have any power, and there was a line of patients needing medical care.

So they brought in three mobile units to treat patients in the parking lot.

"Most people have been without medical care for several days, so we really wanted to be available to the community and be a service to the community," Dr. Nichelle Threadgill said.

The clinic is one of 10 operated by Community Health Centers of Pinellas, Inc. Together, the clinics serve about 50,000 people.

The Johnnie Ruth Clark clinic is the only one without power.

Lanardo Jackson was treated Wednesday inside the dental mobile unit for a toothache.

"I thought everything was shut down," Jackson said. "Walking through, you have all the lights out. I didn't expect this to happen. It's a true blessing."

You don't need an appointment or to be a registered patient to receive care at the health center.

"Our mission is to take care of people," Threadgill said. "Our mission is to provide the highest quality care for our patients, and so even though we are in a mobile unit we continue to make sure we are taking care of the needs of the patients in the community."

Staff said they will continue to operate out of the mobile units from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until the power comes back on in the building.