LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Medical professionals in the lake area are raising awareness about uninsured workers during "Cover the Uninsured Week."
Christus St. Patrick Hospital kicked off the nationwide effort Tuesday morning with a community breakfast.
At the breakfast uninsured patients in the lake area brought forward their personal stories about families who struggle with medical costs.
Sherry Walker spoke about how attending the Calcasieu Community Clinic for uninsured, low-income patients has helped her through tough times.
"I needed dental work and I didn't have the money to pay for it," said Walker. "But the clinic helped me with all that. They sent me to a dentist to help me get it taken care of."
Walker was forced to go from a full-time worker to a part-time worker at the Harts Daycare center after her husband became ill.
Walker said she is grateful the Calcasieu Community Clinic is there for patients who are uninsured.
"If I didn't have them I wouldn't have the medicine that I need," said Walker. "It is such a blessing."
The Calcasieu Community Clinic is a clinic for uninsured workers who work at least 20 hours a week and earn less than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.
Executive Director Kayla Rigney urges all those who apply to take advantage of the services.
"Even in light of the new legislation, most of the those persons would not come into effect until 2014," said Rigney. "In the meantime if you're working and you have no health insurance, we are ready to meet the need."
For more information on either the Calcasieu Community Clinic or the SWLA Center for Health Services, click on the links to the right.