LOUISVILLE, Ky. — For years, residents in the Parkland neighborhood of Louisville have had a lack of health care options.
On Tuesday, UofL Health held a ribbon cutting for a brand-new clinic in the heart of the Parkland neighborhood. This west side neighborhood is considered by the federal Health Resources and Services Agency to be a “medically undeserved area.” In an area where many residents rely on public transportation, regular and emergency care is neither quick nor easy.
“Imagine you have to work but you have a simple problem but you have to go downtown and spend five hours in an ER,” Dr. Tamea Evans said during a ceremony Tuesday.
The Urgent Care Plus clinic at the corner of S. 28th and Virginia Avenue will offer primary and some urgent care options. The closest clinic is nearly a mile away and the larger downtown hospitals like Norton and UofL Health are nearly four miles away from this side of town.
“If someone has to drive miles, those miles feel like mountains,” Dr. Evans added.
For decades the Parkland neighborhood has been in decline. During Tuesday’s ceremony Mayor Greg Fischer stated the decline began during the 1968 race riot and progressed for decades, resulting in businesses moving away, schools declining and health care options becoming more and more limited.
“The fact is that for the average Louisvillian, and it’s hard to say what average is but for the average Louisvillian who lives near Shawnee Park, their life will be 12 years less than the average Lousivillian that lives near Tom Sawyer Park and that’s just not right … Access to good quality health care is one of those reasons,” Fischer said.
Directly across the street from the new clinic is the recently relocated Dare to Care Food Bank.
"40% of the households in this neighborhood don’t have access to a vehicle so think about that. Think about what life would be like if you weren’t able to just get in your car and go to the grocery, get your prescription medication, get your health care, get the other vital services you need, get your kids to school,” Stan Siegwald of Dare to Care explained.
Opening a new clinic in Parkland is certainly expected to be a step in a healthier direction for residents.