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GREAT HEALTH DIVIDE: CHRISTUS Community Specialty Clinic offers specialty care in Alexandria

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 6:00 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - One clinic in Alexandria is making it easier and more convenient for patients to get specialty care right here at home.

The CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Community Specialty Clinic, an extension of the Community Clinic on MacArthur Drive, offers a number of specialty services for patients.

“We might see someone for a fracture, or if they have a hernia and needed general surgery, or if our primary care providers detect that they need a cardiologist, we see them and we do cardiac work ups,” said RN Clinical Coordinator Hope Bryant.

Hypothetically, a patient would first be seen by a primary care physician at a CHRISTUS community clinic. Then, if it’s necessary, the patient would be referred to the specialty clinic for any additional procedures or appointments. The specialty clinic sees patients who have Medicaid, insurance, and in some instances, Medicare.

“We also have an extension for people who can’t have Medicaid, we have a program for free care, we’ll set them up to help them get an extension of that based on their income to see if they can qualify and get coverage for their prescriptions, or the health care that they would might not otherwise have access to,” said Bryant.

The specialty clinic houses a number of services under one roof, so patients don’t have to drive to different areas of the state to get the treatment they need.

“Patients have a barrier of not being able to go to Shreveport or to Ochsners. Everything is right here, it’s local and they’re able to get all of the providers basically essentially in one area,” said Bryant.

The clinic tries to make it as easy on the patient as possible, especially if they don’t have reliable transportation.

“Here at least in this clinic, we can set up multiple appointments for providers all in one day, so they might be able to see the cardiologist that morning, the general surgeon that afternoon and their primary care physician that day,” said Bryant.

Bryant said the clinic is seeing more breast cancer at a younger age in patients. So, to take care of symptoms early on, the clinic is able to do everything in-house.

“We’re able to get them into Oncology here, they’re able to have their mastectomy’s here, they’re able to get their mammograms done here, they’re able to get the full circle of treatment here,” said Bryant

Taking care of every condition and problem in the clinic prevents delayed care and worsening symptoms.

“Without that program, they wouldn’t be able to go anywhere else and it also may cause a burden in delaying care or their cancer progressing,” said Bryant.

With the goal of making sure patients get the care they need in Central Louisiana.

“I think we’re one of the only community clinics that have community and specialty, and are able to treat the patient from the beginning on all their needs,” said Bryant.

The specialty clinic also works with the CHRISTUS Community Clinic Pharmacy to offer discounted medications to patients.

Rapides Regional Medical Center also has a similar clinic that sees patients in Central Louisiana.

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