Byline: CAREN BURMEISTER
The growing number of Beaches residents without health insurance helped cause $8 million worth of medical care that wasn't paid for at Baptist Medical Center-Beaches in the last year.
That figure, which includes charity care and bad debt from patients across the Beaches and Ponte Vedra Beach, has grown at least 12 percent a year in the last four years, said hospital Administrator Mark Slyter.
It also explains why community leaders are pushing for a full-time comprehensive Beaches medical clinic for the working poor and the homeless.
Members of Christ Church Ponte Vedra Beach are working with Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry, Mission House, Baptist Medical Center-Beaches and other medical and social services advocates to develop the clinic.
The effort is in the early stages; the organizers are meeting and researching issues such as staffing, financing and fund-raising, legal and …