Dr. Gene Manko of HANDS Clinic of St. Lucie County Named 2023 Unsung Hero
St. Lucie, FL--- Gene Manko, M.D., FACOG, is the Treasure Coast’s 2023 Unsung Hero. Dr. Manko received the award from the Associa?on of Fundraising Professionals(AFP) during this year’s Na?onal Philanthropy Day celebra?ons for his work as the Chief Medical Director of the HANDS Clinic of St. Lucie County and the champion of free quality healthcare for the uninsured residents of St. Lucie.
“Dr. Manko is the ul?mate example of a physician devoted to the people he serves,” said HANDS Clinic Execu?ve Director Lisa Hatch. “He never says no to a challenge when it comes to finding solu?ons to difficult problems. He only says ‘How?’ and then makes the right things happen. He works days, nights and weekends on behalf of his pa?ents, and he does it strictly as a volunteer.”
Since joining the HANDS Clinic staff, Dr. Manko has provided direct care to pa?ents who depend on the clinic for their health care needs and looked for more ways for the clinic to help. When there was no place to send women to address abnormal pap smears, for example, he helped build the Women's Health Services Surgical Suite inside the clinic to provide LEEP and Cryosurgery.
He has opened up new partnerships for the clinic, including one with Florida Atlan?c University and their Nurse Prac??oner students and one with Nova University and its dental program. He
has overseen the launch of the mobile HANDS Clinic that now serves neighborhoods through the county and brings medical care to residents who lack transporta?on. Thanks to Dr. Manko’s efforts, a new partnership with Florida Atlan?c will bring expanded mental health services to the clinic in January.
“When we have an individual with a unique medical condi?on,” Hatch said, “I have seen Dr. Manko call every physician and medical specialist over and over un?l he gets someone to agree to pitch in and help.”
Dr. Manko is board cer?fied in Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a Fellow of the Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He has had an ac?ve medical prac?ce in Pennsylvania and Florida and has taught medicine at numerous universi?es and medical schools. Within his busy schedule, he carved out ?me to make five mission trips to Honduras in Central America, performing surgeries in areas where medical care was desperately needed.
When he re?red from ac?ve prac?ce in 2021, he took on the volunteer posi?on of Chief Medical Director for HANDS. “Every HANDS pa?ent is grateful for the huge, generous heart of Dr. Manko and his inexhaus?ble determina?on to get care for those in need,” Hatch said. “He is definitely our hero.”
About The HANDS Clinic
The HANDS Clinic is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organiza?on that provides free healthcare services to qualified uninsured St. Lucie County residents between the ages of 19 and 64. Staffed by volunteer physicians and other volunteer healthcare providers, the Clinic offers no-cost primary care and specialty care, the only free adult dental clinic in St. Lucie, vision care, lab tests, medica?on assistance, and health educa?on. It also offers a full service Women’s Health program from well-woman care through pap smears, ultrasound, birth control, specialty gynecological care, and referrals for mammograms. It is located at 3855 S. US 1 in Fort Pierce. For more informa?on, contact the HANDS Clinic at 772-462-5646, at www.HANDSofSLC.org, or info@HANDSofSLC.org.