Free clinic has increase in patient load
By Jamie Anfenson-Comeau
Demand for services at the United Community Healthcare Clinic in Eunice has increased greatly, with the clinic seeing 50 new patients every month on average, UCHC Director Yancy Fontenot told the Eunice Kiwanis Club last week.
UCHC provides free medical care, lab work and non-narcotic prescription drugs to the low-income working uninsured and their families, an ever-growing number as health insurance costs continue to increase.
The clinic is funded primarily through the United Way, and also through grants and donations.
Demands for the clinic’s services jumped following hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and have been steadily climbing since then.
Several local physicians, nurses and others volunteer their time for clinic night, held every Tuesday. In addition, eye exams are provided by a volunteer optometrist the first Tuesday of every month.
Medications, donated by pharmaceutical companies, are dispensed by volunteer pharmacists to those eligible for the Patient Assistance Program.
The clinic also hosts monthly education classes on health-related issues, such as dealing with diabetes or hypertension, at least once a month.
The clinic is currently located at 450 Moosa Boulevard, just north of the old Moosa Memorial Hospital, having moved there almost two years ago.
United Way volunteers from Pennsylvania traveled to Eunice to renovate and expand the facility.
“The clinic was going through some really hard times before, but I think that we’ve really brought up the standard and provide the services and the help needed by the community,” Fontenot said.