GACHASSIN LAW FIRM’S INVOLVEMENT WITH THE LAFAYETTE COMMUNITY HEALTH CARE CLINIC
The Lafayette Community Health Care Clinic opened in 1991 to serve Lafayette’s working uninsured and was the brainchild of local plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Terry Cromwell.
In addition to Clinic services, whenever a patient required a chest x-ray or lab services, Lafayette’s hospital and physician community stepped up and provided millions of dollars in services to Clinic patients at no charge. A contribution that has largely gone unnoticed.
“There were too many people who fell into that gap. They weren’t indigent, but healthcare was just out of reach. The Lafayette Parish Medical Society and our entire healthcare community willingly rallied around this need and thanks to them, many of the waiters, waitresses, daycare workers, construction workers, and more survived illnesses of all types and became healthier for it.”
Dr. Terry Cromwell
In 1997, Gachassin Law Firm’s long-time administer – Phena Guidry – learned about the Clinic and decided that the Firm should hold a fundraiser for the Clinic to raise money for the Clinic’s operations, and to thank all of the volunteers who gave of their time at the Clinic every Tuesday and Thursday night. The Clinic’s operations relied exclusively on private donations. The fundraiser, popularly known as the Silver Bell Soiree, was a huge success, raising millions of dollars for the Clinic over 19 years.
In 2016, the Clinic closed when the State of Louisiana expanded Medicaid. The closure marked the end of more than two decades of health care for employed residents of Lafayette Parish who could not afford insurance or were not covered by their employers. During that time thousands of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, dental technicians, and other volunteers logged over a million hours of service.
“On the one hand, we are sad to see the Clinic end. Yet, on the other hand, it’s pretty neat to see a non-profit organization complete its mission. All in all, it’s a bright day for Lafayette.”
Nick Gachassin, III