From Vision to Impact
Established on May 3, 1974, the Panama City Artificial Kidney Center marked the beginning of a journey that would significantly impact the Bay County community, especially after the devastating effects of Hurricane Michael in 2018. The foundation, initially an effort to provide local dialysis treatment, has evolved into a beacon of hope and support, thanks to the dedication of founders like Dr. Sydney Daffin and community leaders including Harold Phillips and Jean Miller.
The Early Days: A Community Effort
The center was born out of a necessity, highlighted by the struggles of patients like Bobby Griffin, who had to travel to Pensacola for dialysis. Dr. Daffin’s vision, supported by the community, led to creating a local center that began in a modest mobile home with just two dialysis machines. This effort was a testament to the power of the community and the urgent need for accessible healthcare solutions in Panama City.
Expansion and Growth
By 1978, the center had grown to accommodate six machines, moving to a larger facility. The significant expansion in 1985 to a freestanding facility with 26 dialysis machines underscored the center’s commitment to providing comprehensive care for kidney disease. This growth was fueled by a remarkable fundraising effort, reflecting the generosity of Bay County’s community, including service clubs, church groups, and support from Tyndall and the Navy Lab.
Transitioning to a Charitable Foundation
The center’s success led to its sale for $1,800,000 in 1985, marking a new chapter as the proceeds were directed to establish the Community Service Foundation. This foundation has been pivotal in supporting Bay County’s charitable organizations, directing over $2 million to local agencies by 2019. The foundation’s adaptability was further proven in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, focusing on the dire needs of the community over operational expenses.
Our Mission and Impact
The Community Services Foundation embodies the spirit of resilience and community service, providing crucial support to Bay County’s charitable organizations, especially in times of need. Our annual contributions have significantly impacted the community, aiding in the recovery and strengthening of Bay County. We honor the legacy of our founders and the countless volunteers who have made this journey possible, reinforcing our commitment to the 850 Strong recovery.