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Restoration work continues at Health Department
The restoration work continues at the Escambia County Health Department on Fairfield Drive. Their target date for completion is Thanksgiving, but that means people who would normally come here for all the services they offer, are having to go elsewhere.
Immunizations, vital statistics, WIC, dental, and a medical clinic... All services that have not been available at the main health clinic location in Escambia County since the April flood.
Dr. John Lanza, director for the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County says, "A lot of things were affected. The drywall, all of the flooring, all 47,000 square feet, as well as the air conditioning system, our boiler system, you name it, it was affected by the flood. And all that is being repaired." Dr. Lanza says those repairs will total around 3-4 million dollars, paid mostly by FEMA and county insurance. Services have had to be relocated to areas like Ensley, Warrington, Molino, and Bayou Blvd, often causing clients to drive farther, and wait longer.
Amy Calderon came from Gulf Breeze to get a birth certificate. "I was a little frustrated. I was like, ok, now I have to go somewhere else. But, it's ok. I have to get it so it is what it is."
Tasaundra Archie from Pensacola says, "I've been here about 2 hours so it's been really hectic with the other health department being closed."
To help with delays, parents are being asked to schedule appointments for their children's immunizations before school starts. And to do it now. Despite the inconvenience, most clients say they understand the situation.
"You just have to be a little more patient but you get what you need," says Archie.
Lanza says, "We are providing the care, it's just a matter of having our clients and staff know where to go to get that care."
For more information on the locations you can log on to their web site, www.escambiahealth.com.