Access to health care is a basic human need. Whether it’s a routine check up or emergency care, being able to get medical needs met is vital for individuals and for a community’s growth.
Community health clinics provide quality health care to rural areas, and in doing so, reduce the overall cost of health care for the country.
A study done by the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services estimates that having rural health centers saves the U.S. health system between $10 billion and $24 billion annually by eliminating unnecessary emergency room visits and other hospital-based care.
Several small communities in the southernmost part of Southwest Louisiana are miles away from hospitals and established medical systems. Because of this, West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital in Sulphur has established three rural health clinics in rural and underserved areas.
The clinics are located in Vinton, Johnson Bayou, and Hackberry; areas that are tight-knit and between 20 to 60 miles away from West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital or any other hospital’s health care system.
These health clinics were established by West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital to meet the needs of residents in these communities. Health care is a fundamental need for any community. Growth will not occur without the availability of medical care.
When one person from a family visits our clinic, we usually end up treating the whole family. We pay attention to blood pressure numbers, wounds that aren’t healing as they should, heart troubles or fluctuations in blood sugar. Otherwise, some of these individuals would continue to ‘wait and see’ and then it’s too late, or they end up driving many miles to get to an emergency room for something that could have been treated at a much lower cost if it was caught earlier.
Rural health clinics offer free services from time to time, such as flu shots, immunizations, or reduced costs for certain screenings. We’re here because we care about the community and we want to give them access to care they wouldn’t otherwise receive.
Residents in any community must have access to health care; it’s critical to a community’s longevity and a pillar for growth. There are building blocks for communities.
They include safety, education, and medical care. One of the reasons these close-knit communities are able to be sustained is because they have these basic needs met.
Same day appointments are available at the three rural clinics operated by West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.
• Hackberry Rural Health Clinic
1020 Main Street
• Vinton Medical Clinic
1611 Hampton Street
• Johnson Bayou Rural Health Clinic
6240 Gulf Beach Highway
Tressie Brunson is the director of physician management services at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital