ST. MARTINVILLE – District 5 City Councilman Arthur Champ Jr. held another of his town hall meetings at Adam Carlson Park Wednesday.
On the agenda were elected officials and private citizens, all there to inform the residents of District 5, and anyone else who wanted to attend, about matters of importance to them in the state, parish and locally.
•Trish L. Olivier of Iberia Comprehensive Community Health Center, Inc., which is bringing affordable primary health care to St. Martinville.
ICCHC has opened a walk-in clinic at 317 Dernier Street, at Dernier and S. Martin Luther King streets. It is a non-profit offering quality, affordable primary care and preventive services at discounted rates based on income and family size to low income, uninsured or under-insured persons.
•Stanley Small and Sherry Frye of the Buddies Program, which brings its effective mentoring program to St. Martinville Jr. High this school year.
The program trains and arranges for volunteer adults to spend an hour a week, one-on-one, with students selected by the school’s principal. The program is meant to correct the trend toward neglect reflected in the statistic cited by Small: Children nationwide get an average of seven minutes a day “face time” with their parents.
Small said the program in Iberia Parish has produced 75 percent fewer office referrals for behavior problems in school and a 100 percent improvement in academic achievement.
•David Dorsey, pharmacist at Thrifty Way Pharmacy, who offered a set of strategies to combat the high and rising cost of medication. Dorsey said to buy generic medicines whenever possible and don’t succumb to drug advertisements on TV. Free samples and coupons also tend to lead to purchases of higher-priced medicines, he said.
If you have more than one doctor, Dorsey recommends taking all of your prescriptions to one of them to check for costly duplications.
He also urged patients to take all of their prescribed antibiotics. Failure to do so could result in the patient having to buy more, and maybe more expensive meds to fight an invigorated bacteria.
Finally, Dorsey said you have to work with the medicine by making the prudent lifestyle changes. “Medication is not going to do it all,” he said.
•State Rep. Fred Mills, D-Parks, warned that the Louisiana Legislature will be wrestling with how to fund health care over the next few years. Per-capita income has risen in the state, which will mean a reduction in federal money for health care.
•Parish President Guy Cormier said the new courthouse annex should be ready for occupancy by the clerk of court, assessor and registrar of voters in September, opening the way for renovation of the 1859 structure, one of only four antebellum courthouses left in the state. “You will be very proud of it,” Cormier promised.
•Mayor Thomas Nelson said tentative plans for the old J.B. Talley property on Bayou Teche, now owned by the city, include a covered arena for events like the annual Pepper Festival, 25 to 30 slots with hookups for RVs, and maybe even a motel to help keep tourists in the city overnight.