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Neighborhood Clinics Increasing In Prominence In New Orleans

Armen Hareyan's picture

The AP/Hartford Courant on Sunday examined how neighborhoodclinics have begun to take the place of hospitals and medical centers in New Orleans because ofphysician shortages and structural damage to buildings caused by HurricaneKatrina. Although there are "plans for new hospitals ... no one expects asystem as extensive as the one pre-Katrina," and many believe that smallerclinics "will be the future of health care -- in New Orleans and,possibly, other American cities," the AP/Courant reports.

TheAP/Courant profiled the efforts of registered nurses PatriciaBerryhill and Alice Craft-Kerney to build and staff a no-cost primary careclinic in the Lower Ninth Ward. According to the AP/Courant, theirclinic "is one of several dozen scattered across the city but one of thefew offering free care." Common illnesses seen by the clinics includehypertension, uncontrolled diabetes, asthma, depression and anxiety.Craft-Kerney said, "Pre-Katrina there was an inadequate number ofbeds," adding that with so many hospitals closed, "it put atremendous strain on the health care system" (Arrillaga, AP/HartfordCourant, 1/13).

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