Friday, March 2, 2012

Delivering Healthcare with Dignity

Fishermen Headed into the Bayou
The Bayou Clinic, located in picturesque Bayou La Batre, Alabama, a seafood community reliant on the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, delivers high-quality healthcare at little or no cost to their clients. In July of 1987, Dr. Regina Benjamin established the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic to provide Health Care with Dignity to the impoverished residents of Bayou La Batre, Alabama.

Rebuilt Bayou Clinic

Since that time the Clinic has suffered a number of devastating calamities. Hurricane George in 1998 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 left the Clinic heavily damaged and in need of extensive repairs. Most recently, on January 1, 2006, the clinic suffered extensive fire damage, destroying any remaining documents, drugs, and equipment. Through the generous donations and support of the community, Dr. Benjamin was able to rebuild the clinic into a state-of-the-art treatment facility.

In 2010 devastation was once again visited upon the Bayou La Batre community. The Deepwater Horizon explosion, subsequent massive oil spill and the ensuing moratorium on fishing, left most of this seafood-dependant community jobless. Suddenly the Bayou Clinic was needed more than ever, not only for its ability to heal physical wounds, but also for its capability to aid in the mental well-being of the community. On September 23, 2011 The Community Foundation of South Alabama awarded a grant of $125,000 to the Bayou Clinic to expand its mental health, medical, and social services. The grant was made possible by the Fund for Gulf Communities, a program of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

Recently, Foundation staff made a site visit to the Clinic to evaluate the effectiveness of the grant. It was clear from the very start that the grant has been used wisely to expand the capacity of the Clinic in the community. They have offered service to clients for physical maladies, as well as providing for the mental health and of the community of Bayou La Batre.

Excutive Director -Julie Taylor
Executive Director, Julie Taylor, reports that a new and improved web site will soon be available to the community and a Wi-Fi Hotspot signal has been made available 24/7 to community residents. An x-ray machine is in the works for the clinic as well as other needed diagnostic equipment. Staff has been added in order to increase the effectiveness of healthcare delivery.

Clinic nurse with patient
The Community Foundation is proud to partner with the Bayou Clinic in an effort to alleviate some of the physical and mental harm brought about as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. We look forward to continuing this partnership with the Clinic and the community of Bayou La Batre.

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