Coastal Family Health To Open After National Debut - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Coastal Family Health To Open After National Debut

The new Coastal Family Health Center is a testament to the hard work and tight deadline the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition crews faced for five days in February.

Executive Director Joe Dawsey says, "For what we're used to, it's just state of the art. We haven't had anything like this before."

A soothing waterfall makes the waiting and reception area more comfortable. There are three exam rooms. The favorite one is for kids and the adults like it too.

"The first thing they hit here, they run up and I don't know how many people run up here and get their picture made behind the lion."

The kids and adults will also like the linen closet, too. It's packed full of brand new toys, blankets and towels. Upstairs is a fully furnished lounge and kitchen, and the office of medical director Dr. Scott Russell.

Perhaps the most unique feature of Dr. Russell's office is the wallpaper. It is made up of letters written by Russell's patients thanking him and the staff for taking care of them when they had no where else to go.

Dawsey says the letters are a reflection of the type of clients who come to Coastal Family Health.

"About 60 percent of our patients are uninsured and we provide care with a sliding fee based on income and family size. That 60 percent since Katrina has gone up to more like 80 percent now uninsured in this area, so it has really increased," Dawsey says.

Thanks to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, those patients will be treated in a clinic with the best equipment available.

The center has five locations in Biloxi. The executive director says they hope to build a brand new building in about two years.

byMarcia Hill

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