Evacuee clinic in parish to stay open for another month, needs more volunteers

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

VIDALIA, La. &045;&045; One set of medical personnel is heading home to Michigan.

But the next group, this one from Delaware, is coming and local evacuees of hurricanes will still be able to get free medical help at the Concordia Parish Evacuee Health Clinic.

The clinic is prepared to stay open four more weeks, clinic Manager Grace Woods said. The clinic, located in the Concordia Parish Courthouse, is open from noon to 7 p.m. weekdays and provides basic medical help, including exams and writing prescriptions for medicine. Dental and vision appointments can also be set up through the clinic.

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The clinic has been open since Sept. 14, helping serve the medical needs of evacuees of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita staying in the area free of charge. Several hundred evacuees have been through the clinic already.

Instrumental to the success of the clinic has been the American Osteopathic Association.

Dr. John Everett, an osteopath, and two nurses from Michigan have staffed the clinic the past two weeks and two osteopaths and two nurses will take over.

The AOA is considering sponsoring a mobile health clinic to get help to areas hardest hit by hurricanes, Woods said.

Despite the volunteer doctors and nurses, the clinic could still use more medical help, especially nurses, Woods said.

&uot;We desperately need help. We’re serving 80 patients a day &045;&045; that’s more than 10 an hour,&uot; Woods said. &uot;Most emergency rooms don’t service like that. We’re taking the burden off local emergency rooms, but we have an issue with staffing.&uot;