May 1, 2012 7:24 PM by Erin Steuber
Help is on the way for uninsured people and others who slip through the cracks in St. Landry Parish. The Department of Health and Human Services is pouring more than a million dollars into an Opelousas clinic.
The Southwest Louisiana Healthcare clinic has been waiting more than a year for the big announcement.
"We were successful today to hear the announcement that were awarded one million, eighty-seven dollars to construct and do expansion to our dental facility," said Dodie LaMott, with Southwest Louisiana Healthcare Clinic.
About 25 to 30 people a day walk through their doors. Many of them uninsured and people who don't have access to affordable care.
"We've seen an increase in under-served, uninsured patients who wouldn't be able to see a dentist otherwise," said dental director, Dr. Stephen Brisco. "So we're here to provide the dental care that they need at a reasonable price."
The improvements will begin with an expansion off the front of the dental building, adding three chairs and a larger lobby.
"I'm hoping that the patients in our area, and our community, will take advantage of the services we do provide," said Brisco.
They hope to being expanding next month, but business will continue as usual during construction.
The state will be getting nearly $8.6 million to renovate, expand and improve care at community health centers as part of the Affordable Healthcare Act. The Teche Action Board in St. Mary Parish will get $500,000 to improve their facility.