Clinic for about parish employees up and running

By By John Guidroz / American Press

Health Connection, a medical and wellness clinic for about 1,400 Calcasieu Parish employees, has seen more than 100 patients

since opening last week, said Dr. Van Snider, the clinic’s physician.

“We’re seeing an average of 20-25 patients a day,” Snider said Wednesday. “I am very pleased with the turnout. It’s exceeded

our expectations.”

The clinic, at 1106 Ryan St., is open 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Snider said the clinic treats cold and flulike symptoms

and chronic issues like diabetes and hypertension. He said patient medical records are filed electronically.

“We perform all the functions of a primary-care clinic,” Snider said.

He said the clinic is available for

Calcasieu Parish employees and dependents enrolled in the parish’s

health insurance plan.

Agencies include the Police Jury, the District Attorney’s Office,

the Calcasieu Public Library, the Port of Lake Charles and

district judges. The parish has been self-insured since 1992.

Snider said the clinic treats children who are at least 6 years old. Charles McLemore is the clinic’s nurse practitioner.

Jerry Milner, the parish’s finance director, told the American Press last September that the parish budgets about $7 million each year for medical and pharmacy costs. Snider said the clinic

is intended to cut those costs over the long term.

“The Police Jury felt very strongly about ... reducing health care costs by improving their employees’ health over time,”

he said. “That’s not easy to do in a private office setting. We are able to spend more resources and time educating people

on what they need to do to stay healthy.”

Milner said the clinic provides patients with a $5 co-payment per visit.

Snider has practiced locally for more than 20 years, and McLemore has been a nurse practitioner for 14 years.