Grand opening of new clinic space at Florida Department of Health

Special to The Log
Ribbon cutting: Surrounded by Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce ambassadors and other civic and local dignitaries, Dr. Karen Chapman, director of DOH-Okaloosa, cut the ribbon during the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County’s grand opening celebration for its new Clinic Annex.

Community members and civic leaders joined together July 30 to celebrate the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County’s new Clinic Annex in Fort Walton Beach.

The 3,300 sq. ft. modular building, on the southeast corner of the Fort Walton Beach campus, was generously donated by Twin Cities Hospital in summer 2013. The newly renovated space includes a reception area, six exam rooms, a classroom and procedure room. The Clinic Annex will house DOH-Okaloosa’s One Problem Clinic, which provides acute care for patients with minor injuries and illnesses.

“The expanded clinical space will improve efficiencies in the provision of medical services to our primary and urgent care customers, enabling us to provide greater access to affordable care for patients in Okaloosa County,” Karen Chapman, MD, MPH, Director of DOH-Okaloosa, said.

During the ceremony, DOH-Okaloosa also dedicated the new park landscape surrounding the Clinic Annex and the main health department building to Liza Jackson, Okaloosa County’s Public Health Hero. Jackson was recognized for her contributions in improving the public’s health and increasing access to healthcare in Okaloosa County. In 1942 she helped to organize and finance the construction of a new clinic building, which was used by the Okaloosa County Health Department for the next 18 years.

“It means a great deal to our family that Liza is being recognized for the important impact she made on our community,” Terri Roberts, Liza Jackson’s great-granddaughter, said. “She recognized very early the importance of public health in a community's growth and development. She was a pioneer in our community in many ways and an example for us all.”