Click2Daily: Health clinic to open in "health care desert" in Houston's 5th Ward

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - Workers finished up Legacy Community Health’s new clinic in the Fifth Ward in northeast Houston. On Saturday, it will be fully open.

 "I'm blessed and thankful," said Debra Odom. 

She said the death of her mother and Odom surviving a drive-by shooting left her needing help. She turned to Legacy Community Health. 

"I was so depressed I would never be able to come out of my house. And to be here to talk to you. That's a blessing," Odom said.

Legacy lost its lease on a nearby clinic. So Legacy built a new one in Odom's neighborhood. The colorful oak tree and the carpet in the lobby reflect the diversity of the neighborhood.

"We are in one of the new Legacy Clinic exam rooms," said Legacy's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ann Barnes. 

She grew up in the Fifth Ward. She helped open a clinic in what some call a "medical desert" because there were few medical services in the area until now. 

At the clinic, visitors can find primary care, OB/GYN, pediatrics, behavioral health, dental, vision and a geriatric practice. 

"It means that all of the work that I did personally in training and all of I think the city's dedication to take care of its citizens regardless of the ability to pay or your zip code, really means a coming together of the provision of high quality healthcare and attention to healthy quality lives of the citizens of Houston. So it means a lot for me to be back in this space and close to home," Barnes said.

"This localizes health care for residents who otherwise would not have an opportunity or access to global healthcare and comprehensive healthcare in Houston's Fifth Ward," said Kathy Flanagan-Payton, the president and CEO of the Fifth Ward Commercial Redevelopment Corp. "This facility helps us to mitigate the challenges that this community is experiencing in terms of people not having access to transportation and or health care to get the attention that they need for quality of life with great and excellent health care and ongoing maintenance."

There is even a space for little readers who visit the clinic. Children can take home a free book. It is total health care at one stop. 

"I was happy to come. And to see the new facility and to see some of the workers here, it's like a family-orientated kind of place," Odom said.

The grand opening is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 3811 Lyons Avenue in northeast Houston.

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