Local Health Clinic Saved From Shutting Down - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Local Health Clinic Saved From Shutting Down

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

From the brink of turning away patients, things suddenly changed for a local Harris County Health clinic.

The Bee Busy Wellness Center is one of two clinics in Harris County that got a special notice from the government this week.

They are getting more than half of the $5 million in grant money awarded to clinics across Texas.

The funds are made available by The Affordable Care Act.

Norman Mitchell is the CEO of Bee Busy Wellness Center. It's a health clinic in southwest Houston for low income, uninsured patients.

Mitchell says he has spent $150,000 out of pocket to keep it alive. Earlier this week he realized he was in trouble.

"Grant funds were only paying a certain amount; we still had to maintain the rest of the salaries of the individuals that were here. There was a strong need. Like where are we going to get the rest of this money?"

He found out that the clinic was awarded the biggest grant he's ever seen-$775,000.

"I have been excited more so than you can imagine," said Mitchell.

In the four years of its existence, the clinic was able to pay for 1,800 patients. Now with the money, Mitchell says they can afford to see 4,000 patients every year.

"It is going to provide us the access that the community needs so they know when they come here, whatever time of day they come, their services will be met," Mitchell said.

Some may think the CEO is a doctor to be able to fund the clinic for so long. He's actually far from it.

"I'm a stand-up comedian, and I had a very successful career doing stand-up comedy," said Mitchell.

Now the clinic can provide that for the community and the employees at Bee Busy.

"Our staff is going to have insurance, our clients that come in are going to get the care, and I am not going to continue to go gray," said Mitchell.

Bee Busy Wellness Center will start receiving the grant money the first of next year.

St. Hope Foundation is the other Harris County clinic to receive funding.

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