By Eli Hughes–
U of L Health plans to open a new clinic in the west end of Louisville in early July that will provide access to primary and urgent healthcare in an underserved area of the city. The location will be at 2746 Virginia Avenue in the Parkland neighborhood.
“Staffed with both primary care and urgent care providers, area residents will be able to access a range of services from routine exams and preventive care to urgent care for minor injuries, illnesses, plus more,” the university said in March press release.
“[Urgent Care Plus] leverages the unique academic and community-based health services to expanded care, including occupational medicine, Department of Transportation physicals and drug testing.”
This west Louisville site is part of an effort launched in January by U of L Health to open five Urgent Care Plus locations throughout Louisville.
Dr. Tamea Evans, who will be the primary care physician of this new location, stressed the importance of a facility like this coming to west Louisville.
“If you want to have a healthy community or improve health in a community, they’ve got to have better access. And it’s not just healthcare, it’s quality healthcare on top of that. So when you break down one of those barriers to the social determinates of health, you help improve the health of a community,” Evans said.
“There’s also socio-economic things that play into it. Like, transportation. Getting to the doctor,” she said. “If you have to travel so many miles ad you don’t have transportation it makes it harder to take care of your health. So one of the things this does is it puts it in the middle of the community. So folks have improved access.”
Evans went on to explain the importance of improving healthcare in this community where numerous factors have led to a life expectancy gap between east and west Louisville. According to an article by WHAS 11 from 2020, that life expectancy gap is about 12 years.
Outside of helping the community, this new facility will also offer new opportunities for U of L medical students to learn through experience. “You have to have experiences outside of what you know. If you’ve never been in that environment you won’t know the challenges of those patients,” Evans said.
“You need to understand the culture of the community that you are going to work in and I think that is awfully important when it comes to educating students. You have to have a lot of perspective about how to care for people. Not just a generic person, but people in real neighborhoods who have real challenges because they live in those specific neighborhoods.”
Photo Courtesy of University of Louisville