Tallahassee’s Bond Community Health Center will continue receiving funding from the county.
Approval by the Leon County Commission came Tuesday, but only after the center’s leaders addressed questions about its status as a federal healthcare center and concerns about administrator turnover.
Earlier this year, federal officials raised concerns about how Bond Community Health Center was operating. Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor raised the alarm and called on the Center’s funding to be halted until officials answered questions about they were spending money.
Bond’s Board Chairman Antonio Jefferson says the Center has been working since to address concerns that dollars spent didn’t translate to the quality of patient care.
“We’re going to begin publishing an annual report that details what are the outcomes of Bond Health Center, relative to dollars spent, return on investment and real outcomes in our community, and county staff has put in protocols to ensure we’re compliant with the expectations of Leon County," he says.
Jefferson says he hopes the favorable vote by the commission will help lure a new CEO to Bond as well. Leon County Commissioner Mary Ann Lindley called for the motion to restore the Center’s funding after receiving more than 1000 pages of information on the health center. She says she’s satisfied with the organization’s response, and admits some of the fault may be with community leaders who didn’t pay enough attention to the facility, which primarily serves Tallahassee’s African-American community.
“There had been questions, but I think to some extent...a racial implication that the white community ought not criticize Bond because ...of who it serves...I think there may be some timidity that they didn’t want to be in a position of criticizing.”
In the end, the group voted 6-to-1 to restore more than $800,000, with the lone “no” vote coming from Commissioner Bill Dailey.