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NP Spotlight


Lolita Massengill, ARNP
 

Past President and current philanthropist of Legacy of Care Health Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. 

Her clinic offering free health care to needy even gives volunteers new purpose in life

LOLITA MASSENGILL, NOMINATED BY JUDY KILLEEN, ALICIA MACABASCO, BRAD GONYER AND NEIL GONYER

By Mary Kelli Palka  of The Florida Times-Union posted on www.jacksonville.com

Story updated at 5:42 AM on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010

 

In her role as a full-time nurse practitioner, specializing in work with geriatric patients, it was clear to Lolita Massengill that something was missing.

 

"When you are a nurse, you are exposed to needs," she said.

 

The needs were of those who were uninsured or under-insured who needed quality health care.

 

So Massengill, 63, opened the Legacy of Care Health Clinic Inc. in 2006 in Atlantic Beach. It moved to Arlington a year later.

 

Now on the second Saturday of every month, Massengill opens the doors to an old three-bedroom house in Arlington that's been converted to a clinic. The carport is the admissions office. Bedrooms are examination rooms.

 

Inside the house is where often more than 50 adults on a given Saturday are seen for everything from diabetes to cancer screenings. If the volunteer doctors and nurses can't handle the needs there, they refer patients to other services.

 

"These aren't people who are lazy. They're working hard or they lost their job," she said.

 

Fellow volunteer July Killeen, also a nurse practitioner, said Massengill's clinic has helped people find comfort and includes a focus on wellness.

 

"I don't know where they would go or what they would do," Killeen said.

 

Massengill and most of those who volunteer to help her still have full-time jobs. They're always looking for more volunteers, and they host various fundraisers throughout the year to cover the clinic's costs.

 

Though the clinic is open only once a month, Massengill is always holding meetings about how to improve it, Killeen said.

 

And she recruits most anyone she meets to get involved.

 

"What she's done is not only helped the community of Jax at large," Killeen said. "She's actually built a little community of volunteers so they feel needed and have another purpose in life."

 

Massengill said she does what she does because there's a need in the community.

 

"When I get into this predicament," she said, "I hope someone will be kind enough to help me."

 

mary.palka@jacksonville.com

 

 

 

 

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