Community leaders, citizens check out Health and Wellness Center at open house

Published 9:00 am Friday, April 28, 2023

Community leaders and citizens came out to LaFayette for the Chambers County Community Health and Wellness Center community open house on Wednesday.

The open house gave community members the opportunity to walk through the center, visit clinic rooms that will be used for health and hearing screenings and demo the OnMed care station. 

Just since the care station was installed in March, the center has given 78 demos and 52 consults/health visits. 

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Substance Abuse Professionals Dr. Lula Bridges and Renata Buckner did a demo of the care station during the open house. 

“That is more than exceptional,” Bridges said.

Throughout the event, many community members walked through the center. Buckner said the center will make a great impact on the community’s health needs.

“All the services being provided are exceptional, and people don’t have to go outside of the area anymore. They can actually get the services they need here … I think the biggest problem people are having that leads them to drug abuse or mental illness is that they don’t eat properly, and they don’t get proper care,” Bridges said. 

The center will bring more healthcare accessibility to the area. Gibson-Young said they want feedback from the community on what health issues the center should target.

“Maybe it’s something about addiction or mental health that they want to know more about,” said Auburn Professor of Nursing and Outreach Coordinator Linda Gibson-Young. “We want to be able to meet those needs. So we want to meet in the middle with the resources to be able to help address those health topics.”

According to Gibson-Young, students from disciplines at Auburn such as nursing, pharmacy, social work, kinesiology, nutrition science and Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) will continue offering health screenings and other resources at the center. 

Other health resources such as the Alabama Department of Public Health may partner with the center. One of the health topics that the project will cover is cervical and breast cancer outreach, according to Fire Chief James Doody.

Bridges said that she would be interested in doing weekly informational events on substance abuse at the center. 

On April 13, Dr. Katilya Ware hosted a canvas talk event on black maternal health care at the center. 

The Auburn University Rural Health Project, the city of LaFayette and Fire Department, the County Commission and the Chambers County Extension partnered on the project. Recently, the project leaders traveled to Washington to present at the NAP Symposium. The project and partnership were applauded for their success at the conference.