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Dec 3, 2009 10:01 AM by Sarah Rosario

A Sight for Sore Eyes, New Eye Clinic in Lafayette

It's with great pride that University Medical Center opens at a new location. The new facility is located on St. Julien Avenue. It's a huge upgrade from what they had before. Hospital Administrator Larry Dorsey said, "It's something we've needed for several years now and we've been able to achieve it and so it's great for the patients.

From seven hundred square feet to now more than five thousand square feet the new clinic serves more than a million people. "This is the first time in 20 years that we've actually had a clinic in Lafayette since Katrina so i think its going to benefit tremendously for those people who don't have insurance," said Ophthalmologist Dr. Susan Azar.

The clinic is one of six relocated sites. It started in New Orleans but was forced split because of hurricane Katrina. It's the only eye clinic in Lafayette that accepts those without insurance. However, getting the new building wasn't easy. "The board of health and the fire marshal were pressing me because the clinic we were in was 700 square feet. No bathroom that worked. It was a fire hazard, it was a health hazard," said Director of Ophthalmology, Dr. Paul Azar

Dr. Azar said the new building was a necessity. He threatened the state to close his practice if they didn't find funding for it to be moved to a sufficient location. "So I have to thank the Governors office and LSU systems for fighting for us because you know money was tight and it still is tight," he said.

The clinic also offers all eye specialty surgeries. People no longer have to travel out of town to get what they need. "Our only problem right now is that we're growing so fast that we're getting a back log of patients, I mean, people have found us," said Dr. Paul Azar.

Azar said their goal is get health care to people as quick as possible. "We're doing our part in health care and I think people can take note of that and they can do this nation wide. Maybe help solve this health care crisis," he said.

Sarah Rosario

srosario@katctv.com

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