Good Samaritan Free Clinic at Talbot House Ministries Welcomes New Director,
Olga Nicolas, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, NP-C
Talbot House Ministries announced its newest staff member, Olga Nicolas, Clinic Director, earlier this month. Nicolas oversees operations of the Good Samaritan Free Clinic, which provides free medical care, dental care, and pharmacy services to low-income uninsured residents of Polk County.
A dedicated nurse practitioner with over 10 years’ experience, Nicolas most recently served as a clinical registered nurse with St. Joseph’s Hospital in Riverview, where she received multiple recognitions for excellence in nursing. She maintains membership in the American Nurses Association, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, Phi Theta Kappa, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and Sigma Tau Theta International. She also volunteers with the Young Leader Initiative Program, mentoring teenagers and young adults with the hope of impacting the next generation of community leaders.
“My passion for a career in healthcare arose when I volunteered with the Red Cross after a devastating hurricane in my native country,” Nicolas, a native Haitian, says. “This experience opened my eyes to the benefits of accessible quality healthcare and to my calling to serve as a healthcare professional.”
Nicolas’ vision for the future of the Good Samaritan Free Clinic is to grow as a leader in healthcare delivery to the vulnerable and underserved populations of Polk County by providing the immediate care and resources they need to attain a healthier lifestyle. In her short time at the Clinic, Talbot House Ministries is already benefitting from her leadership in educating its clients and implementing new procedures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic to its immunocompromised homeless population.
Polk County is considered a Health Professional Shortage Area for primary, dental, and mental health care by the Health Resources and Services Administration, meaning there are not enough healthcare providers to serve its population. Furthermore, 16 percent of Polk County residents are uninsured. The Good Samaritan Free Clinic helps to fill this vital community need by serving any Polk County resident without healthcare insurance who earns below 200% of federal poverty guidelines.
The Good Samaritan Free Clinic partners with volunteer doctors and medical professionals from across the community, as well as local healthcare leaders including Lakeland Regional Health and Watson Clinic. It is the second-busiest free clinic in Polk County, providing over 3,200 healthcare services in 2019.