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Partner Spotlight: Access Health Louisiana Opens Clinic in The Pythian

By Green Coast on 4 Sep 2018

Nurse Practitioner Rhea Kyles with a patient. 
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Nurse Practitioner Rhea Kyles with a patient.

What’s in a name? In the case of Access Health Louisiana, the name shows what this nonprofit organization’s mission is about: making health care available to all Louisianans without the usual barriers of cost, insurance limitations and proximity.

As Louisiana’s largest federally qualified community health center network, AHL strives to serve where the need is the greatest, and that’s why it recently opened Access Health Louisiana Primary Care at the Pythian, which provides adult and pediatric primary care, behavioral health and infectious disease care.

Family Nurse Practitioner Rhea Kyles (MSN, APRN, FNP-C) says that The Pythian clinic is centrally located, reachable by bus, streetcar, foot, and car (free patient parking), and is filling a health care gap.

“People need primary care and they need access to it,” Kyles says. “Here, it doesn’t matter whether they have insurance, Medicaid or Medicare, or no insurance. You can receive treatment.”

The clinic accepts most commercial insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, and for those without insurance, the clinic offers a sliding scale fee schedule. There are other advantages including discounted prescription medications through the federal 340B program, transportation assistance, medical specialists and same day scheduling.

AHL considers all of this to be part of their holistic approach, eliminating hurdles and treating the whole person.

“New Orleans experiences a high rate of chronically ill patients,” says AHL operations manager, Chenier Reynolds-Montz. “We treat the patients for those specific chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and others, but we also work with patients on their overall health and wellbeing.”

New Orleans unfortunately also suffers from some of the nation’s highest rates in HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Dr. MarkAlain Dery, the clinic’s infectious disease specialist and founder of 102.3 WHIV FM (a radio station dedicated to human rights and social justice), says that there are a number of social determinants—poverty, illiteracy, homelessness and a high incarceration rate—that contribute to these epidemic rates, adding that testing is the most important factor in preventing HIV’s spread.

“We’re living in this exciting time when the HIV meds are so effective and easy to take—the complications due to HIV are almost nil,” says Dery. “The challenge is getting folks diagnosed and getting people into treatment the same day. Once they’re under care it’s completely manageable.”

Dery also treats people at risk for contracting HIV, prescribing the highly effective preventative drug, PrEP.

The new clinic is Green Coast’s second partnership with AHL, which opened the South Broad Community Health clinic in 2015 as part of the firm’s historic renovation of the Washington Avenue and Broad Street corridor. In addition to these two offices, AHL operates school-based programs at Warren Easton High School and Cohen College Prep in Orleans Parish, and a total of 27 clinics statewide.

To contact Access Health Louisiana Primary Care at the Pythian, please call 504-226-2976 or 1-866-530-6111, or click here for a location nearest you.

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