Clinic serving under-insured opens in Reserve

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 18, 2009



RESERVE – Starting Tuesday morning, St. John residents on the east bank will have a new option for affordable health care.

Parish and state officials celebrated the grand opening of the Teche Action Clinic of Reserve, a non-profit, federally qualified health center designed to help under-insured or non-insured residents gain access to health care.

“This facility will help fill a network gap in the community,” said Dr. Gary Wiltz, chief executive officer. “There is a large population in this area that are low income or uninsured, and we are here to serve them.”

Wiltz said the Reserve location would compliment an existing Teche clinic in Edgard, which was often used by residents from the east bank.

The two facilities were part of a $750,000 grant secured in 2002 by former parish president and current state Rep. Nickie Monica. The parish council at the time appropriated $100,000 for the complex, and the parish donated the existing building, located behind the parish’s health center, to be used for the clinic.

“When I first walked into this building, there were mounds of debris covering the floor, and now we have the kind of facility people deserve,” Monica said. “This will be a safety net for people. No one should be left without access to health care.”

Wiltz said the facility, which will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. would provide a wide range of primary care and preventative medical services including family medicine, general dentistry, family planning, pharmacy, diagnostic and mental health services.

“This will keep people from having to go to the emergency room to get treatment,” Wiltz said.