ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - The heavy rain Monday morning didn’t stop administrators and supporters of East Texas Community Health Services from celebrating the groundbreaking of a new facility in Angelina County.
It’s been a year-long process for the health center to open a clinic in Lufkin, according to Anita Humpreys, interim CEO of East Texas Community Health Services. However, it’s one she said was badly needed.
“Angelina County is one of the larger counties the East Texas Community Health Center serves, and when we analyze our data from year-to-year, we always recognize that there are a large number of our patrons coming to Nacogdoches to receive services,” said Humphreys.
The facility will be approximately 9,000 sq. ft. and will mimic closely the services currently provided in Nacogdoches County. The facility will house medical, dental, in-house pharmacy and lab services. It will also provide behavioral health services and will be telehealth capable.
At full capacity, the facility will employ 4 full-time medical providers, 3 full-time dental providers, clinical support staff, in-house pharmacy and laboratory services, and eligibility staff capable of screening for potential enrollment in local, state, and federal assistance programs.
By the time the project is finished, the total cost should be somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.6 million, Humphreys said.
The public health facility’s location on Sayers Street will provide convenience to North Lufkin residents, a mission of the Abundant Life United Methodist Church. The next-door neighbor’s support is provided through the lease of about 2 acres to East Texas Community Health.
“To have four doctors, two dentists, a pharmacy and even a mobile health care unit, these things are not located in this area,” said Pastor David Briggs. “We’re excited about those extra resources that are really going to make all of Lufkin just a healthier place to live."
The Department of Health and Human Services, Temple Inland and East Texas Community Health Services are funding facility. Planners acknowledge the work of existing primary health care providers and the health district. They see the clinic as one more way to keep residents well.
“Angelina County has always been on our radar, and thanks to some wonderful strategic planning by our board, and some huge effort on the part of my staff... we’re now able to bring those services here in a permanent way,” Humphreys added.
Completion date is scheduled for the summer of 2020.