Louisiana Department of Health reminding residents of its services

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 7:14 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The Rapides Parish Health Unit spent the morning of Tuesday, January 31, informing residents of the many benefits the clinic offers.

In the last few years, the Health Department has become the go-to for COVID testing and all things COVID related, however, they are still your link to health screenings and other important health education information.

One of those offerings is help with alcohol and chemical dependency. Opioid use is a public health crisis, and Donna Matthews, opioid prevention coordinator for Region 6, said many residents are not aware that Narcan, the medicine used to reverse an opioid overdose, is available free of charge at the health unit.

“Anybody can come in and ask for it,” said Mathews. “Or, if they need it for a family member or for themselves, it is available to you free of charge you can come in and ask for it.”

Also, residents can get tested and receive information on sex health at the health unit. Kenneth Nash, the disease intervention supervisor for Region 6, said knowing the status of your sexual health is just as important as keeping track of your physical and mental health.

“We let people know that the testing is primarily free,” said Nash. “It is open to the public, and we can get you into the health unit. We can get you and your partners tested just to make sure that everything is ok with you and the people you associate with sexually.”

Even stepping outside health services, the Louisiana Department of Health is offering a new program to help residents with other needs.

“It is called Community Health Ways,” said Jaylyn McNeal, public relations coordinator for the Louisiana Department of Health. “It is a program through our community health workers. It is referral based, but you can also walk into the health clinic, and they get referred to services such as housing, transportation and food. So, that is a program a lot of people have been utilizing.”

For more information on the Rapides Parish Health Unit or the services it provides, click here.

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