Earl K Long Hospital closes but 24 hour Urgent Care Center opens

Earl K Long Hospital closes but 24 hour Urgent Care Center opens

POSTED: Monday, April 15, 2013 - 5:00pm

UPDATED: Monday, April 15, 2013 - 5:40pm

Less than a day after Earl K. Long shut its doors, a new urgent care clinic has opened a few blocks away.

Fred West heard the news a few months back that his main resource for care was shutting down.

"A lot of people need help that are sick and it’s been there and it has provided me with good care when I was sick," said former Earl K. Long patient, Fred West.

Now a 24 hour clinic has opened its doors to the community.

"I think there will be some people that were not even using Earl K. Long facilities that will come here that used to travel somewhere else because it’s closer," said Kevin DiBenedetto, one of the doctors at the LSU Urgent Care Center.

Earl K. Long hospital was a key part of the north Baton Rouge community, providing healthcare to hundreds each day.

Some people nearby told NBC33 they appreciate help but still say there will be problems, especially if there is a major medical emergency.

"There are some advantages to it and some disadvantages to it because the clinic won’t offer certain things the hospital would offer," noted former EKL patient, Ashley Gaskins.

"It means I have to travel farther because don't have a vehicle."

The Urgent Care Center, run by Our Lady of the Lake, will provide many of the same services an emergency room provides but people such as West say, no matter what, things will never be the same.

"I feel like it will limit a lot of stuff that Earl K. Long has been doing over the years, it’s a very sad day that it’s closed."

Monday was not only the opening of the Urgent Care Clinic in North Baton Rouge. It’s the transition of 110 residents that were working with the LSU Health System and will now be at Our Lady of the Lake.

This new clinic is open for business but will also be expanding in the near future

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