Good News Care Center celebrates 25 years of free healthcare to community in need

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MIAMI –Since its modest beginnings more than two decades ago, the Good News Care Center has provided free health care, saved countless lives, and improved the quality of life for the uninsured and less fortunate in its South Dade County community.

Working collaboratively with hospitals, physicians and medical students–and armed with grants and donations–the center has been a lifeline to agricultural and low-income workers in the Florida City/Homestead region, coordinating as many as 10,000 patient visits each year.

Now in its 25th year, the clinic has recorded 250,000 patient visits, treating those in need with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. And as the Good News is shared, an estimated 5,000 persons have made professions of faith during the time.

The center celebrated its 25th anniversary on Oct. 9 with a fundraising gala at Kendall Palms Country Club attended by doctors, government leaders, and patients of the center. The cost of the event was donated by a benefactor to help raise funds for the clinic to continue ministering to the needy.

The clinic was a dream of Michael Daily’s, who at the time served as church and community ministries director for the Miami Baptist Association. His vision was born from the health fairs and clinics he organized throughout the region in churches, labor camps and parks where he saw firsthand the suffering of the community. He saw how desperate patients were without adequate medical care or medications.

As Daily’s plans began to take shape during the 1990s, God brought his dream to fruition. Daily was approached by the chaplain at Miami Baptist Hospital—now Baptist Health South Florida–who knew of Daily’s ministry in the community. After Hurricane Andrew ripped through the region in 1992, the hospital, too, saw the overwhelming need for medical care and a community clinic to provide on-going and urgent care. The staff expressed a desire for the clinic in a church setting, Daily said.

Working collaboratively with the hospital and other health care organizations, the center opened its doors to the public Oct. 3, 1996, with the promise of providing free medical, diagnostic and education services for adults in a caring and compassionate environment.

“It takes a lot to keep something like this going and thanks be to God that we have,” said Daily, who now serves as CEO of the clinic. His wife, Ana, directs the clinic.

The Good News Care Center provides free health services for adults most in need like general checkups, mammograms, internal medicine, specialized care for women, diabetes tests and classes to manage the condition, nutrition counseling, and dermatology services. When medical conditions are identified, patients are referred to physicians and medical services free of charge.

Almost 14 years ago Lisbeth Salcedo was experiencing intense abdominal pain. She was seen by a clinic physician who diagnosed her with a swollen gall bladder in danger of fatally rupturing. Unemployed and with no insurance, the mother of twin girls was distraught.

The clinic arranged for her to have surgery at Baptist Health, which performed the operation free of charge, even keeping her overnight due to a bad reaction to the anesthesia. “They cared for me as if I was person paying,” Salcedo recalled.

Once a patient at the clinic himself, Pastor Moises Robaina began visiting clinic patients who indicated on a form they were willing to receive in-home visits from a local pastor. Many of the patients indicated they would, which allowed Robaina and other ministers to check on their wellbeing and assist with other needs such as utilities, food and emergency rent.

As Robaina shared his faith during the visits, many accepted Christ as Savior.

“Several times a week he was leading people to Christ,” recalled Daily. “He called me one day and asked, ‘Hey, do you want to start a church?’” As a result, Iglesia Bautista Mi Ebenezer was planted in the community.

In its earliest days, the clinic looked at other Dade County locations to operate, but plans fell through until the location in Florida City was found.

“So, we scrapped those places and went to Florida City where we were received with open arms,” said Daily. Florida City has been identified nationally as Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).

During the Oct. 9 gala, Florida City Mayor Otis T. Wallace congratulated the center’s staff and volunteers for providing such a vital service to the community. “I am very grateful to have had the clinic in the community for the past 25 years,” said Wallace.

The clinic also received a proclamation from Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava.

Salcedo, who has recovered from her health issues, was the event coordinator for the anniversary celebration that drew 100 guests to raise resources for the clinic.

“We wanted to share the testimony of what God has been doing through the clinic over the past 25 years,” she said.

For more information on the Good News Care Center visit https://goodnewscares.org/

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