James McCloud is making sure low-income people in the Bay area are getting the medical coverage they need.
And this everyday hero got his inspiration from a special place.
McCloud is founder of Genesis Health Services, an organization serving low-income medical and dental patients in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
When it began over 25 years ago it was in response to a different pandemic from today’s: HIV/Aids.
“We began as a provider of medical and mental health services and residential drug treatment services to the minority population,” McCloud said.
McCloud’s company specializes in offering dental and medical aid to those who are working but earn too much to qualify for government programs and not enough to afford medical and dental care.
While not a doctor or medical professional himself, his late mother Josephine was the first African-American ER nurse at Manatee Memorial Hospital.
In his early days, McCloud was not fond of the medical field.
“I didn’t like healthcare,” he said. “That was the people that too my mom away. Why she wasn’t home because she was working at the hospital.”
As a non-profit, McCloud and his staff of volunteers rely heavily and grants and community partners. They have been granted a Manatee County reimbursement grant for $600,000.
However, they must first spend that amount before requesting the reimbursement.
And they are now attempting to raise that money by the deadline of December 7.
Ask McCloud why this is what he does. His answer is quick and to the point.
“This,” he said with a nod towards his mother. “Is why I was born.”