By Staff, Baptist Message
PINEVILLE – In the course of two semesters, Loving Care, a nurse-led clinic open to the community and staffed by nurse practitioners, emerged from nursing faculty conversation to full-blown endeavor at Louisiana College.
[img_assist|nid=7342|title=Ribbon Cutting|desc=Kimberly Sharp, dean of the LC School of Nursing and Allied Health, leads the ribbon-cutting ceremony May 12 for the new Loving Care nurse-led clinic at Louisiana College.|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=67]A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility, located in the front portion of the LC Nursing Skills Lab, took place May 12, with Mayor Clarence Fields and the Pineville Chamber of Commerce on hand to mark the occasion.
“This is a gift from Louisiana College to the community,” said LC President Joe Aguillard, in one of his first public appearances since his heart bypass surgery in early April. Looking a bit frail – but exhibiting a burst of resonant energy when it was his time to speak – Aguillard spoke of his appreciation for being part of the Pineville community, and of the benefit the Nurse-led clinic will be to Central Louisiana.
“We’re bringing the world to Pineville,” the LC president said. “This clinic will allow us as an institution to serve Him in a way we never have before.”
Mayor Fields, Acting President Tim Johnson and others spoke during the 30-minute ceremony that took place outside on a gentle, sunny morning. Refreshments and tours inside followed.
“From a health care standpoint … this [facility] has to be a great teaching tool,” Fields said as he looked around the Nursing Skills lab, which includes 15 mannequins as male, infant, toddler and birthing mother patients. It was not his first time to see the lab, he said, but he was again impressed, he added. “It has to be advantageous to the students.”
During the ceremony itself, the mayor said, “Obviously the Lord’s hand is on this.”
The day of the Open House was the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of professional nursing, noted Kimberly Sharp, Ph.D., Dean of the LC School of Nursing and Allied Health and recently awarded the Coughlin-Saunders Chair in Nursing. She spoke after the ceremony about Loving Care, a nurse-led clinic.
The Nursing faculty last fall started talking about expanding the usage of the nursing skills center. LC has an on-campus health service clinic to serve students’ needs, with no provision for LC family.
Nursing faculty wanted to establish a new clinic that would be available to faculty and staff, since the students already had an option, as well as being able to extend that health care resource to the community.
It is hoped that this clinic will lessen the strain on hospital emergency rooms and the pocketbooks of area residents who didn’t have medical situations that required a hospital facility, Sharp explained.
LC administrators liked the idea; LC trustees awarded a start-up grant; clinic-specific equipment was purchased, and a date for the Open House was set.
Loving Care: Nurse-Led Clinic opened Monday, May 16, with nurse practitioners supported by nursing faculty and students. Patients who do not have insurance can opt to participate in a sliding scale fee payment system. This system is based on current federal poverty guidelines and is updated yearly. For example, a family of 4 with an annual income of $37,000 would pay 50 percent of a total office charge of $100 or $50. The minimum fee for an individual with $5,000 per year annual income would pay a minimum charge of $25.
“It’s about making sure the community has the tools they need to empower them to take care of their own health needs,” Sharp said. Services provided include acute primary care, chronic primary care, annual physicals, in-house lab draws, minor emergency care, patient education and well-woman check-ups.
“We’re a Christian-based clinic and aim to provide the best service possible to all who walk through our doors,” Sharp said. “We believe in the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. Each of us also believes that nursing is our ministry, and it is our passion to give love and care for those who are sick, hurting, and in need. We strive to minister holistically: mind, body and soul.”
For further information about the clinic you may call 318-427-9229; email @ email@example.com or visit our webpage at https://sites.google.com/site/lovingcarenurseledclinic/
One day after the open house, on May 13, a nurses pinning ceremony took place for 23 graduating nursing students.