Discussion forum talks about what it takes to maintain healthy families

November 15, 2017

Carl I. Walters II, the CEO of Outpatient Medical Center, Inc. held a Discussion Forum. The purpose of this meeting was to brainstorm with supporters from the community about how entities in Natchitoches can work together to build an integrated healthcare delivery system. This system would ensure that families in the Parish receive the right care, at the right time and in the most cost-effective treatment platform.

Some food for thought questions Walters raised included: How to respectfully address the issue of service/infrastructure duplicity that drives up community cost for care needlessly? How to bring up a viable and financially stable transportation system within the Parish? How to work together to bring more affordable housing to the Parish? How to drive stronger economic development for the Parish in order to put more families to work in companies offering competitive salaries? How to create a comfortable community discussion forum designed to bring the entire community together and eliminate the perception of racial/social inequality?

“It’s difficult to focus on finding viable solutions when the crux of the conversation is centered around race as opposed to moral, ethical, social and spiritual responsibility,” said Walters. “It took community partnership to build the wonderful community we have here in Natchicohes Parish. The ride into the brighter light will only come about if we work on developing the habit to care about each other and not just about ourselves. Status quo of our community should neither be acceptable nor desirable as we must leave no one behind. It will take sustained community partnership, strong moral, ethical, social and spiritual conviction/leadership to tackle many of the issues facing our community.”

OMC, Inc. activity :and accomplishments:

Awarded $30,000 from the American Cancer Society, LSU and LPCA to increase colorectal screening rates Awarded a $500,000 grant from the Black Women’s Health Imperative to increase screening for women’s pre-diabetes and provide lifestyle training

Awarded a $384,772 Healthcare Access grant from the Rapides Foundation to fund salaries and supplies for a School-based Health Canter at LP Vaughn, in partnership with the Natchitoches Parish School Board

Awarded a $175,000 HRSA grant to expand behavioral health services

Awarded Health Plan grant comprised of six laptop computers for community outreach and enrollment efforts

Applied for $20,000 grant from the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center Foundation for new waiting room chairs and glucometers for patients who can’t afford them

“I’m shocked at the number of child abuse/domestic violence incidents in this Parish,” said Walters. “We have a significant problem. The teen suicide rate is on the rise. Opioid, alcohol and drug abuse is on the rise. Tooth decay and loss is common. Kids aren’t getting adequate dental services and it’s killing them. Millions of Americans are walking around with diabetes and they don’t even know it because they won’t go to the doctor and it’s killing them. OMC is here to give people the support system they need to deal with these issues. We need to elevate the condition of our community.”