Town hall held for community input on new SWLA Center for Health Services building

Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 9:37 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Not just rebuilding but rebuilding better. As part of an effort to grow the area with the community in mind, a townhall was held for the people to share the ideas for a new facility for SWLA Center for Health Services.

“Early 2022 is when we think we will be in that active rebuilding phase of the new SWLA Center for Health Services,” Jayvon Muhammad said in an interview in 2020.

Nearly two years post hurricane, and the Southwest Louisiana Center for Health Services is up and running again, offering affordable health care and now, free financial services to Lake Charles’ north end.

Like most in the areas, the center sustained much damage – part of the building remains closed today.

“SWLA Center for Health Services lost our main building,” Dianna Ross, director of human affairs for the center said. “That building housed everything.”

Now, there is an opportunity for additional services for the center as plans for rebuilding are underway.

“We want to know what our community needs other than the medical, the dental, the behavioral health and some of the other medical services we offer,” Ross said. “We need to know what they want to see as a community.”

“A lot of jobs you go to, especially the plants, need drug testing,” an attendee said.

On-site drug testing for employment, 24-hour urgent care, day care and a farmer’s market. Those were some of the ideas noted at Tuesday’s town hall meeting.

“We don’t want to put something up based on what we see and what we want,” Paulette Lofton, COO said. “We want feedback on what you all need in a community health center.”

“We got input from our staff, our board, our providers,” William Brent, CEO said. “We are hoping to see if we can get some great ideas on how to move forward.”

The health center’s CEO tells us, they area awaiting FEMA reimbursement to start construction.

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