Gail Dolan took on her new role in May as chief operating officer of Neighborhood Health Clinic, the volunteer-driven Naples nonprofit that has been providing affordable medical and dental care for working, uninsured residents of Collier County for 20 years.
Dolan, 64, of Naples, is a board-certified registered nurse with Nurse Executive, Advanced certification and she holds a doctorate in education with emphasis in organizational leadership.
She served as national dean of nursing at Rasmussen College, for which she opened 19 nursing schools in five states over a three-year period. Prior to that, she was chief operations officer at Naples Community Hospital/NCH Healthcare System for 21 years. After retiring, she became a part-time health and science educator. That’s when Neighborhood Health Clinic approached her to help with its growth and operations, overseeing all paid staff and volunteers as COO.
How does your background benefit you in this position?
In the patient care service world, you have to have a very strong passion for this kind of work. As a nurse I have the patient care [background], and I have the experience in the business side of it. I combine the two for quality patient care and a legacy so the clinic can keep going.
What are the clinic’s unique challenges?
We don’t take any government assistance. We get our dollars from generous philanthropic people in the community. And the staff finds reduced-cost medications. The two things that are the most costly in any health organization are people and supplies. The majority of our staff are volunteers, and the supplies are all donated, including medication. We are very fortunate to have all these pieces in place.
What are your goals for the clinic?
We would like to streamline our patient care a little bit more and increase our technology utilization for patient care reasons. We want to increase our patient base, if they qualify for our services. We are also providing more services now—radiology, and our dental clinic just started getting off the ground. Neighborhood Health Clinic is open Monday through Friday and one Saturday morning a month. We’re looking toward having at least 200 patients a week that we can see. It’s 160 to 170 a week now.
What are your plans for growth?
The next phase of construction is that we are going to expand the building with a bigger lab area, bigger radiology area and more exam rooms, perhaps. We have to plan for the budget and the staff of volunteers.
What are your goals for the patients?
My job is to continue operating in the best possible manner to continue the legacy of taking care of the uninsured, and to take patients from a chronic [disease] state to a better lifestyle with some education and treatment.