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West Louisville urgent care center receives $350K donation to improve health access

A doctor in a suit with a red tie, wearing a stethoscope around his neck, clasps his hands as he speaks to someone off camera.
Aprile Rickert
Dr. Kim Williams, cardiologist and chair of the University of Louisville Department of Medicine, talks about the importance of the new echocardiogram machine at the Urgent Care Plus cent5er in Louisville's Parkland neighborhood. The machine will allow for on-site heart diagnostic testing. It was provided through a grant from local philanthropists Ted Nixon and Frank Harshaw.

An urgent care center in west Louisville's Parkland neighborhood has received a $350K donation to help improve access to care in the historically underserved neighborhood.

During a news conference Monday, community and health care leaders celebrated the donation from local philanthropists Ted Nixon and Frank Harshaw to the Urgent Care Plus Center on Virginia Avenue.

More than half of the funds go toward a new echocardiogram machine, which will allow providers to do heart diagnostics on site rather than send patients to another location, which could be hard to get to.

The money will also support a new licensed clinical social worker position. Once hired, that person will provide therapy and help patients navigate health care and other necessities like groceries and utilities.

“It is not only just a great day in this community, for everyone here, but it's a great day for such a trying community that's been underserved,” said Louisville Metro Council Member Tammy Hawkins, a Democrat who represents District 1. “This community has been underserved for quite some time.”

Dr. Kim Williams is chair of the University of Louisville Department of Medicine and a cardiologist at the Parkland center. He said the improved access can help bridge the gap in health disparities.

“We've had them for so long, and it's time to get rid of them,” he said. “There's so many things that we can do. It starts with prevention, starts with nutrition, and really access to care.”

Izegbea Cannon is an advanced practice registered nurse at the center, and grew up in the neighborhood. She said the new services are much needed.

“We have a lot of patients that have cardiovascular disease, uncontrolled high blood pressure…needing the cardiologist,” Cannon said. “And just to have equipment here and a provider to service the patients is beyond words.”

She recalled growing up in the area, when there was only one health center to go to.

“So, being that we now have opportunities and other advancements and places to go, it means a lot.”

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.

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