The Calcasieu Community Clinic at 550 E. Sale Road #217 has reopened its doors. The clinic closed March 2020 in response to COVID restrictions.
“We follow the schedule of McNeese State University,” Executive Director Kayla Rigney said. “We were scheduled to reopen Sept. 2, 2020. Hurricane Laura had other ideas.”
The clinic, housed at the university’s Hardtner Hall, sustained significant water damage during Hurricanes Laura and Delta. The entire clinic area had to be gutted and rebuilt. During the time the College of Nursing building was closed for repairs, the staff brought essential items to their respective homes in the effort to continue operation for existing patients on a virtual level. Prescriptions were filled. Grant funding from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation covered the cost.
“Patients were contacted and new lines of communication were established to maintain medication compliance for existing clinic patients,” Rigney said.
During the COVID shutdown, the site held pharmacy clinics every 60 days to ensure patients had adequate medication to remain healthy.
The Calcasieu Community Clinic, a not-for-profit health care clinic, provides medical, pharmaceutical, dental and vision services to the low-income working uninsured residents of Southwest Louisiana at a rate that is 100 percent fee subsidized. The clinic is staffed by volunteer practitioners. Satellite services are offered on a voluntary basis by providers in Southwest Louisiana.
The clinic was founded in 1999 by a group of concerned physicals to address the health care needs of those persons who fell through the health care coverage cracks; those who made too much money for Medicaid, but were not covered through employers. The clinic opened its doors the first time in February 2001 and has provided over $7 million in services to Imperial Calcasieu in its 20 years of operation.
“All the doctors and nurse practitioners at the clinic are volunteer,” Rigney said. “We’re 100 percent community supported, no state or federal funding.
Since the hurricane, the clinic has been in as state of flux. Many of its patients have been displaced because of damage to multi-family housing. People who visit the clinic are generally from the service industry, maybe construction workers and even individuals attending certain training schools as they work to improve income, Rigney said. It can be part-time or full-time workers. Some are full-time workers of businesses that might supply an insurance plan, but with premiums not affordable to the employee.
“We’re not like healthcare.gov, Rigney said. “If your employer provides insurance and you can’t afford it, you can get help here.”
Current poverty level is $12,880 per year for a single person or $1073 per month before taxes.
“The Board decided to expand our guidelines to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level in order to account for the very high cost of housing,” Rigney said. “For one person, that’s $51,040 per year or $4,253 per month before taxes.”
The clinic does not accept patients covered by Medicaid or Medicare.
To find out more, call 337-478-8650 or go to www.calcasieucommunityclinic.com.