LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Residents, staff and community supporters helped unveiled a new clinic in north Lufkin. After months of construction, the East Texas Community Health Clinic opened its doors on Monday.
It all started eight months ago when the clinic's CEO, Robin Moore, received an unexpected gift.
"When we first got notice that that we got the money to put in this clinic, that was December, so it was a great Christmas present," Moore said.
Using that federal grant money, nearly $650,000 from the US Department of Health and Human Services, it helped fund operational costs including hiring a temporary doctor, nurse, an assistant and an office manager.
"We're the only medical provider that actually has an office in this part of town," Moore said.
Resident Cornelius Steward said the community lacks access to health care, who now is in walking distance as the 1300 Lakeview Street location on the corner of Kurth Drive.
"I do have some health problems, and I can be doing much better," Steward said. "But one of the reasons I slacked up on my health and taking care of myself is because of transportation and regular visits that I wasn't able to make."
Steward said now circumstances have changed. Since the ribbon cutting of the East Texas Community Health Services, he said he can slowly become a regular patient to meet his health needs, adding the location is just in walking distance.
"With the help of the Temple Foundation the vision that we had for this has just really blossomed," Moore said.
It was a vision which included serving patients with all types of insurances and customizing rates for families declared facing poverty.
The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
As the clinic grows in seeing the number of patients, the staff may consider adjusting the hours.