Pediatric clinic to stay open

POSTED: Friday, March 2, 2012 - 6:15pm

UPDATED: Friday, March 2, 2012 - 6:19pm

Parents who regularly use  a pediatric clinic on North Foster Drive are breathing a sigh of relief for now. The LSU Mid-City Pediatric Clinic was set to close for good Friday, but now, it will stay open for at least one more month.

Zialeka Burks was shocked when learned that the clinic would be closing. "It comes at a great disadvantage," she says. "You don't trust your kids to just anyone and once you get to know particular doctors and you're comfortable with those physicians, you don't really want to change them to anyone else."

Now, she might not have to worry about making that switch. The clinic was a casualty of budget cuts, and up until this week, employees were getting ready to shut this place down.

"You're wondering where are these kids going to go?" says pediatrician, Traci Woodard. "How are we going to transition all these children with new physicians?"

Bad news for the more than 5,000 kids who use this facility on a regular basis.

"I have parents who say their kids have been coming here since they were born adn they haven't really known anyone else and they're not really looking forward to developing a new relationship with a new physician," says Woodard.

Then a third-party stepped in to save the day. Now, the clinic has been given another month to serve the community while LSU negotiates a way to keep the place running. The third-party would more than likely take over the clinic.

"It's good news for our patients. It's good news for our employees that work here, such as myself, who have bonded with the families, and you know we're still able to be connected and bonding with our kids."

Now, parents and pediatricians are keeping their fingers crossed that the clinic will stay open for good. "I have hope and faith. Just lots of hope and faith," says Burks.

LSU officials say no matter what happens none of the LSU employees who work at the clinic will be out of a job. They'd be transferred to other clinics.

The clinic will be open for urgent visits until April 1st.

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