Outreach Partner Profile: The Sulzbacher Beaches Clinic

The Sulzbacher Beaches Clinic was envisioned, planned and opened over a decade ago, through a community partnership led by Christ Church. The Clinic, located at 850 6 Avenue South in Jacksonville Beach, has received substantial annual funding from Christ Church. The Clinic offers a holistic model of primary, behavioral and dental care to the homeless and working poor who have no other options. They can also provide patient assistance for medications, medical case management, health-education classes, vision screenings, low-cost glasses and wheelchairs.

Dr. Bashyam Iyengar became the medical director for the Sulzbacher Clinics (Downtown and Beaches) in July 2016. “At the Beaches, we see more uninsured and under-insured working poor,” says Bashyam. “We’re using a holistic approach to get people to where they need to be. For most of them, the social and economic conditions they face are like pushing a boulder. We want people to know they don’t have to push alone. We’re very thankful for the financial support from Christ Church.”

Dr. Colleen Bell is Sulzbacher’s medical director for behavioral health. It is work she feels called to do. “It’s a great fit for me” she shares. As a way to offer hope and encouragement to those most isolated from society, Dr. Bell employs a model of “street psychiatry,” visiting her patients wherever they are located, rather than requiring them to make appointments to come in to the clinic.

“The Beaches Clinic was the brainchild of Christ Church, and they were one of leading drivers in its establishment,” says Eileen Briggs, Chief Development Officer for the Sulzbacher Center. “Their continual funding has allowed us to not only sustain, but to grow and change. Without this clinic, many people at the Beaches would have to go to the ER for care – or get no health care at all.”

This year Christ Church also awarded a grant to redo the clinic’s worn flooring. The Christ Church outreach team identified the need for the new floor via a site visit. A capital expense such as this can be hard to cover, as many charitable organizations focus on support for operating expenses. Through careful vetting of the clinic and its positive outcomes for the community, the team was easily able to justify this additional capital gift.

Christ Church grants funds for programs that address basic needs of our most vulnerable neighbors. In addition, we provide funds to organizations with local, national or international Episcopal affiliation, especially those founded by Christ Episcopal Church or impacted by significant parishioner participation. Recipients are selected in an annual process by a committee of parishioners, under the guidance of the senior associate rector. Our outreach grant application cycle is open from September through December. For information on outreach, contact Fr. Tom Reeder at 904-285-6127.

NON-PROFIT AGENCIES: 2018 Outreach Grant Application