Deck Franklin 18pt 2 lines hereyy yyyy
LAFAYETTE — Lafayette’s newest wellness center is a clinic that treats Acadiana’s developmentally disabled population and the general public, providing medical and psychological treatment in a $1.4 million facility, officials said this week.
Lafayette Family Healthcare, working under the direction of The Arc of Acadiana, will work with the nonprofit agency under one roof to provide health care for able-bodied residents and also Acadiana’s developmentally disabled, who also will learn skills they need to live more independently, such as vocational training and tips on finding a job.
Lafayette Family Healthcare is at 2008 Eraste Landry Road.
The Arc of Acadiana, which has focused on helping the developmentally disabled since 1954, is transitioning out of its longtime Jefferson Street location, which does not offer medical outpatient services.
On Tuesday, state Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Kathy Kleibert toured the facility on Eraste Landry Road. Kleibert is a longtime state executive who for years ran the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, a division of DHH.
Kleibert said The Arc has long provided services for the mentally handicapped in Acadiana. She said private nonprofit agencies like The Arc can serve them better and less expensively than the state.
“It really points out what the private sector can do,” Kleibert said. “Some of the patients here have very complex mental problems, very complex psychological problems.”
The Arc, with some DHH oversight, has taken over medical and other services that were formerly provided by Louisiana.
Former DHH-run residential centers for the mentally disabled in Iota and Bossier City are now being run by The Arc of Acadiana.
Kleibert said the only residential center for the mentally disabled that now is fully operated by the state is Pinecrest Supports and Services in Pineville.
Kleibert said the state is saving money and Louisianans with developmental problems are getting better care.
Kleibert said the state facility in Iota spent $400 per day on each of the center’s 70 residents, while The Arc now provides the service for around $210 per resident per day.
Moving mentally handicapped patients from state care to private care has been ongoing since Gov. Bobby Jindal took office in January 2008.
The Arc’s chief executive officer, Kenny Patton, said taxpayer money was not used to fund construction of Lafayette Family Healthcare. He said The Arc is able to operate less expensively than the state because the nonprofit is small and nimble, and its employees are not civil service employees.
The clinic will provide a range of services for patients with psychological problems, including assessment, treatment and psychotropic medication management. Patients also can receive pediatric and geriatric care, acute illness treatment, mole removals, and allergy and asthma treatment.
For more information, go to lafayettefamilyhealth.com or arcofacadiana.org