PLAQUEMINE - The Capitol City Family Health Center received word today it will receive a $441,667 federal grant to open up a new health center in Iberville Parish.
The center will provide services for about 3,000 patients per year, and will add about 15 new full time jobs.
Paulette Walker has lived on the west side of the Mississippi her entire life, and said getting medical care on her side of the river was always difficult.
"Horrible, even with ambulance services, it's been horrible," Walker said. "It's rough trying to get to Baton Rouge for everything you need."
The Capitol City Family Health Center was one of 12 clinics awarded one-time grant money from the federal government under the Affordable Care Act. Since the Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to have health insurance, the hope is the grant won't have to be reapplied for year after year.
The clinic's leaders hope it will ultimately be able to sustain itself.
"They see the need, that we need the additional funding to service the number of underserved and underinsured population of Louisiana," Chief Financial Officer Lyndon Darensbourg said. "We are giving quality care to those patients."
The money that the clinic receives will pay for operations, salaries and renovations to the Iberville Health Unit. Ultimately there will be about two or three full-time doctors that will see patients at the new health center.
It is welcomed news to people like Walker.
"A lot of people don't have transportation," Walker said. "It's a lot easier to get someone in the community to take you around the corner to the doctor then way to Baton Rouge."
The grant requires the health center to open in four months. Leaders at the Capitol City Family Health Center said they will meet that deadline.