Natchez hospital opens Concordia Medical Center in Vidalia

Published 12:01 am Sunday, October 28, 2012

LAUREN WOOD / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Dr. Dennis LaRavia, center, speaks to patient Sharon Blaney, left, as she has her blood drawn by phlebotomist Nancy Gonsoulin, right, Thursday morning at the Concordia Medical Center. The clinic opened its doors approximately two weeks ago, and is affiliated with Natchez Community Hospital.

VIDALIA — Residents on the Louisiana side of river have a new, and familiar, option when it comes to receiving health services.

Natchez Community Hospital opened Concordia Medical Center in Vidalia on Oct. 15. It is the first satellite office into Concordia Parish by the hospital.

The doctor in charge is no stranger to the parish, either. Dr. Dennis LaRavia practiced medicine in Ferriday for 20 years before he started teaching at Texas A&M and LSU for the past 16 years.

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“Natchez Community Hospital approached me about a year ago, and we worked it out to put a first-class facility in Concordia Parish,” Laravia said. “We have kept a house here. This is home for us.”

Bringing in LaRavia was a no-brainer for Natchez Community Hospital CEO Eric Robinson. Robinson said LaRavia was the right fit due to his history of seeing patients around the parish.

Nurse practitioner Charla Knapp looks at paperwork Thursday morning in the lab at Concordia Medical Center.

“Dr. LaRavia had a following and there seems to be a lot of excitement over there,” Robinson said. “He is very well liked and respected.”

Along with LaRavia, nurse practitioner Charla Knapp is seeing patients.

Knapp graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Alcorn State University and received a master’s dregree from the University of South Alabama. She has 17 years of experience while working as an emergency room and intensive care unit nurse.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of a clinic that is such a quality clinic,” Knapp said. “Working with Dr. LaRavia is going to be exciting. He is skilled in so many areas.

“When people got word he was coming back, they got really excited.”

Knapp said the clinic has state-of-the-art equipment and is built to handle the needs of the entire family.

The medical center has six treatment rooms, a lab, X-ray and an area to perform minor surgeries.

“We want to have a clinic that is perfectly situated and equipped to serve that community,” Robinson said. “It’s going to be a one-stop-shop.”

Robinson said a lot of people from Concordia Parish see doctors at Natchez Community Hospital, and to have clinic that offers as many services as Concordia Medical Center does is convenient for those people.

“We want to be able to provide as many services as possible,” Robinson said. “It is an advanced family practice.”

The staff at CMC aren’t limited to who they can see. Knapp said they are able to see patients of all ages, including young children.

“We really want to take care of the whole family,” Knapp said. “Our goal is to treat them as if they are our own family members. Hopefully they will be pleased and encourage others to come here.”

LaRavia said having a lab and X-ray allows the clinic to handle a broad scope of issues.

“We do a lot of sports medicine, infants and children,” LaRavia said. “To have something like this is very rewarding.”

Concordia Medical Center is located on 900 Carter St. next to Concordia Bank. It is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday.

For more information, call 318-336-4780.