doctor fredy delacruz at the clinic
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Fellsmere Volunteer Medical Clinic Opens Twice Weekly at Operation Hope to Help Needy Adults

Posted on: July 27, 2022
Read time: 3 minutes

Photo courtesy of Sam Wolfe
As featured in TC Palm, written by Janet Begley.

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A new, free health clinic for uninsured people ages 18 to 64 has opened at Operation Hope.

The Fellsmere Volunteer Medical Clinic, run by Dr. Fredy Delacruz, will see patients two half-days each week, and is open to low-income, uninsured residents seeking medical care.

The clinic has two exam rooms, a waiting room and a private office for consultations, and includes a part-time nurse and appointment secretary, who volunteer their time.

Secretary Cecilia Narbaitz and Nurse Charlene Smith assist Delacruz at the clinic.

person walking to the fellsmere volunteer clinic
Photo courtesy of Sam Wolfe

Jesse Zermeno, founder and president of Operation Hope, has been working to bring medical services to the many people he serves through his monthly food distributions, school supply giveaway and Thanksgiving food baskets.

“I was so happy I had the chance to meet Dr. Delacruz and introduce him to Operation Hope,” said Zermeno. “He asked me if I had any vacant space in our building where he could run a small medical clinic for the poor. Once we talked about what he wanted to do, I knew this was something Operation Hope wanted to be a part of.”

Before his retirement from private practice in 2006, Dr. Delacruz, 81, a board certified urologist, practiced in Vero Beach, and worked at what was then Indian River Medical Center and Sebastian River Medical Center. He operates a similar clinic in Palm Bay one day each week and volunteers with Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine.

doctor fredy delacruz staying behind the window of the clinic
Photo courtesy of Sam Wolfe

Background on Dr. Fredy Delacruz

Dr. Delacruz came to the United States at the age of 19 from Colombia. He first trained as a laboratory technician but at the age of 21, he decided he wanted to attend medical school. He graduated from the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, and completed his residency at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in New York.

Although most men his age would be content to retire, Dr. Delacruz wanted to continue giving back to the community, he said.

He assisted in Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2021, providing medical care to thousands who were injured. He also provided urology services at the Indian River County Health Department in Vero Beach.

Delacruz said right now, the most pressing need is to find volunteer physicians and nurses who are willing to donate several hours each month to the free clinic.

He also needs patients who are uninsured and who meet the low-income requirements of the clinic.

“I think there is such a need in this community,” said Delacruz. “I want to focus attention on the patient who can’t afford to see a doctor and doesn’t have insurance.”

Dr. Delacruz and his wife Olivia are residents of Orchid Island since 1997. When not practicing medicine, he can be found on the pickleball courts honing his skills.

entrance to the fellsmere volunteer medical clinic
Photo courtesy of Sam Wolfe

Make an appointment

  • • The Fellsmere Volunteer Medical Clinic is open Monday from 9 a.m. to noon, and Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m. at Operation Hope, 12285 Fellsmere Road.
  • • Appointments are needed to make sure patients meet the financial parameters of the free program.
  • • Patients cannot have private insurance or Medicare or Medicaid, to be treated at the clinic. For more information, call 772-571-6250.
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