We Care of Lee County Florida

What is We Care:

The We Care program in Lee County, like We Care programs in other Florida Counties, coordinates specialty medical care given voluntarily to medically needy, uninsured, unemployed people in our community.

Who is eligible for services through We Care?

  • Patient must have a medically necessary/life altering condition, which cannot be managed by a primary care physician
  • Resident of Lee County for the previous 6 months
  • Between the ages of 18-64
  • Must meet the financial eligibility defined in FL Statute 766.1115 or be more restrictive (proposed 150% of the Federally defined poverty level)
  • Uninsured, not eligible for any source which would pay for the needed services (i.e., VA, Medicaid or Medicare)
  • Working poor
  • Unemployed

Are some healthcare issues excluded?

Yes. The following are not eligible for We Care referral:
  • Second opinions
  • Screenings
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth control
  • Tuberculosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Worker’s compensation cases
  • Cases where litigation related to the medical condition is pending, probable or anticipated
  • Disability confirmation

Are patients allowed to self-refer to We Care specialists?

No. Only primary care physicians or participating specialists may refer.

How are referrals to the program made?

Primary care physicians or participating medical specialists place a call to the We Care Coordinator Paul Whitear at 239-334-3745 ext 222. The coordinator’s role is to function as much of an advocate for the physician or other provider as for the patient. For example, missed appointments or unacceptable behavior or appearance in the provider’s office are not acceptable.

Are providers covered under sovereign immunity?

Yes. Through a contract, providers can be designated an “agent of the state” and have sovereign immunity for uncompensated services rendered to clients determined eligible. The provider completes a brief questionnaire and submits it to the Florida DOH. A contract is generated and returned to the provider.

We Care Overview

  • We Care is a medical specialty referral program
  • Services are provided by volunteer physicians, dentists and other providers
  • Health care services are furnished, without cost to the patient, to low income persons as defined in section 766.1115, Florida Statutes.
  • Providers of these specialty health care services are protected by Sovereign Immunity, which is defined in statute 766.
  • Patients’ income must place them at least 150% below the federally defined poverty level.
  • Patient must be must have a medically necessary/life altering condition, which cannot be treated or managed by a primary care physician
  • Patient must be a resident of Lee County for the previous 6 months
  • Patient must be between the ages of 18-64
  • Patient must be uninsured and not eligible for any source which would pay for the needed services (i.e., VA, Medicaid or Medicare)

About We Care Coordinator Paul Whitear

Paul Whitear is on The Salvation Army staff and is supervised by the director of medical and outreach services. The position is generously funded by United Way.
Paul has 30 years of experience working within the medical community of Lee County including at the Lee Memorial Hospital emergency center and with a large orthopedic practice in the County.
Paul came to the We Care position from the Meals with Compassion (Sally’s Café and MarketPlace) ministry. He brought that program to a new level, providing help for the needy and education about the wide array of services The Salvation Army has to offer. Under his tutelage, Meals with Compassion became a vessel for people who didn’t know how to find their way. It became an informational highway and that led to the program being renamed Sally’s Café and market place and its role as a Christian ministry flourished.
We Care works in partnership with Dispensary of Hope to insure that clients get the medications they need for very little cost. To find out more about this organization click the link below:

View our We Care brochure: