‘Public Health matters’

Voters asked to support Prop 2

A vote for Proposition 2 on the Nov. 6 ballot is a vote for maintaining the best health care possible for the patients of Access Health Louisiana’s St. Charles Community Health Center.

“We are the public health provider in St. Charles Parish,” said Access Health spokeswoman Chenier Reynolds. “Of the 11 parishes served by Access Health, the most services are available in St. Charles Parish.”

St. Charles Community Health Center, a nonprofit organization, provides this care on both sides of the river at Luling and Norco centers.

At the Luling Center, Operations Manager Kaycee Donnaud said she’s seen firsthand Access Health’s impact for the nearly 14 years she’s been with them.

“I’ve often see patients who can’t afford the care and come here, and are able to get their diabetic meds,” Donnaud said. “Many may have avoided them because of cost, but now our pharmacy is allows selling the drugs at a discount.”

Access Health Center in Norco.

A recently added school-health services help children get care, she said. Some of them have working parents who can’t always leave work to run a child to a doctor.

“This allows us to get them and bring into the clinic,” Donnaud said. “Our pediatricians see them and bring them back to school.”

Reynolds said, when voters pull the lever for the proposition (public health unit tax) they will essentially renew the health unit property tax at .61 mills down from the current .65 mill rate. For the owner of a home valued at $175,000, the cost will be $6.10 a year or less than 51 cents a month, Reynolds said.

If approved, the tax will generate an estimated $774,000 a year for 10 years (2020 to 2029).

St. Charles Parish has rated among the Louisiana’s top 10 healthiest parishes, an accomplishment that Reynolds also attributes to public health.

Luling Health Center.

Efforts to extend the scope and quality of patient care have resulted in the launch of Access Health’s Chronic Care Management Program, which focuses on caring for seniors living with two or more chronic conditions like diabetes, arthritis, depression or high blood pressure, and keeping them on a healthy track between visits to the doctor’s office. Patients who have Medicare Part A or B plans qualify for the program.

Through the Chronic Care Management program, a dedicated health care professional works with a patient to create a care plan for them, after assessing overall and specific health goals.

The Access Health Louisiana Pharmacy, which offers free home delivery service, was recently opened at St. Charles Community Health Center along with the launch of its expanded dental department at the site.

The Luling dental expansion project has meant the center can offer additional dental care to patients for pay or assistance.

Access Health also offers immunizations for children and adolescents.

Reynolds said voter support for Proposition 2 means “Public health does matter.”


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