In 1972, a group of concerned Community residents, representing the Bond Elementary School and area churches, formed “The Bond Community Management Committee” for the purpose of coordinating efforts to improve the quality of life within the community. The organization became a potent force expressing loudly and clearly to the local powers the very obvious and glaring needs within the Bond community.
The Committee’s initial effort was giving leadership and support to an already existing community seeking to secure recreational facilities and programs for the Bond Community. The Walker-Ford Recreation Center is the result of this effort.
In 1981, after many years of planning and community assessments, a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), provided funding to open the Smith-Williams Services Center. The center gave the surrounding community immediate access to day care for pre-school children, a health clinic, a library, and support for social services. The library was a branch of the Leon County Public Library, the day care was operated by Big Bend-4-C, and the clinic was operated by the Leon County Health Department. Officials from the Leon County Health Department worked closely with the Bond Committee in designing and helping to open The Bond Clinic. The clinic’s mission was to provide limited services for community residents.
Three years after the clinic opened, the Bond Community Management Committee learned of a proposal for the Health Department to discontinue its support for the clinic. On May 22, 1984 during a Bond Community Management Committee meeting, Dr. C.E. Richardson—a practicing physician who was reared in the area, presented a draft of a proposal for CDBG funds to operate the clinic. He submitted signatures of several local physicians who agreed to assist participating as the Health Care Associates. The concept was readily received, endorsed, and submitted to the City of Tallahassee. It was later funded for $70,000. With funding for the first year, the program operated with the assistance of physicians who donated their time and efforts.
As the years progressed, Dr. Richardson and the Management Committee worked tirelessly to receive additional funding from the state HRS program and United Way. Additional donations and collaborations with other health care providers helped to keep the clinic aligned with its original mission of meeting the needs of the underserved low and moderate income citizens.
By 1993, the clinic had seen tremendous growth, and began entering a phase of transition. Dr. Richardson, a major pioneer in the clinic’s foundational years, relocated his practice from Tallahassee to Indiana, leaving clinic leaders no other option but to seek ways to continue and strengthen his dynamic legacy.
Bond Clinic became the Bond Community Health Center in September 1994 after receiving funding from the U. S. Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources, and Services Administration. The Center was designated to operate as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) under section 330e of the Public Health Services Act (PHS).
Currently, BCHC continues to receive funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Ryan White Programs, Leon County, State of Florida funding, and others.