LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Residents in the north Lufkin area who lack access to a health clinic often having to travel far to the other side of town to meet their health needs.
But after listening to the community's needs, circumstances will soon change as a new health clinic will open its doors this summer.
Kelly Follie, 34, is a mother to two children who said the lack of a clinic close to her neighborhood presents a challenge.
"With me being here and having small kids, there's not a clinic over here," Follie said.
However, Follie is grateful because she has transportation and medical benefits now to help her get to her appointments. However, for others, that's not the case.
"Without the clinic, everyone on this side of town have to either get on the transit system or try to find transportation to this side of town," said Robert Shankle, a council member.
Shankle is also a part of Impact Lufkin, an organization which plays a part in gathering feedback, and needs from the community. He said an accessible health clinic will significantly advance the revitalization effort.
As summer approaches, circumstances will change not only for Follie but for thousands of others in the north Lufkin neighborhood.
"We have an office space here in north Lufkin that's being remodeled for a health center," Shankle said.
The health clinic is spearheaded by East Texas Community Health Services and is headquartered in Nacogdoches where thousands of uninsured and under-insured patients from all over East Texas receive care.
After receiving a $650,000 federal grant from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services to fund operational costs, access to a clinic is brought to life.
As for Follie, she said each step taken is progress towards her community.
"I'm so excited to see just the wonderful things that are starting to happen in North Lufkin," Follie said.
Additionally, North Lufkin is improving through the support of the Temple Foundation, and Stephen F. Austin State University's School of Social Work as community partners.