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Melody Duckins Mr. Smith went to Washington.

Dr. Melody A. Duckins hopes to make the short drive to Tavares, Fla.

Duckins, the internship and cooperative education coordinator at the Beacon College Boven Career Development Center, has thrown her hat into the ring for the vacant Seat 5 on the North Lake County Hospital Board NW.

The growing population of homeless, poor, and uninsured Lake County residents inspired Duckins’ run.

“I believe that helping those in need of medical care, especially with Covid-19 on the rise, is an important, necessary, and relevant concern,” Duckins said.

“Many adults and children who are poor, homeless, and uninsured have nowhere to go for medical help. Veterans, who have served our country deserve our help, honor, and respect. Unfortunately, many of these individuals suffer from mental illness. Fortunately, these clinics offer mental health counseling as one of their services. Last, to be uninsured is not a crime, rather an untimely condition. I myself at one time was considered the “working poor” living without medical insurance. I hoped and prayed each day that I would not get sick or hurt.”

The Florida Legislature created the North Lake County Hospital District, an independent special district, to provide defray indigent care local hospitals and clinics provide. An elected, unpaid six-member board who reside in the district govern the district. Members may serve a maximum of two four-year terms. Annually, the board adopts a millage rate that dictates residents’ property tax and establishes the budget available to fund indigent care in North Lake County.

A Democrat, Duckins vies for the open seat against fellow Democrat Khalid Umar Sattar and Republican challenger Anita Swan.

“My mother often says to me, ‘You must choose what type of human being you want to be.’ I choose to be an advocate for the homeless, poor, and uninsured. I believe my calling is to help others and serve my community to the best of my ability.”

The primary is August 18 and the general election is November 3.