NATCHITOCHES – A KSLA-produced documentary film featuring the stories of Shreveport’s MLK Health Center has won a regional EMMY award in the cultural documentary category. “Chronically Heal,” written and produced by Blane Skiles and directed by Bubba Kneipp, highlights how the clinic impacts the community by offering healthcare and pharmacy services and serves as a resource to Shreveport’s medical education community. Included in the film are comments from Dr. Dana Clawson, dean of Northwestern State University’s College of Nursing and School of Allied Health, and students in NSU’s nurse practitioner program.
“MLK is the oldest free clinic and free pharmacy in northwest Louisiana and provides comprehensive primary care to the uninsured who struggle with chronic conditions,” said Jordan Ring, director of strategic partnerships for MLK Health Center. “Our name comes from the philosophy of Dr. King and beloved community. He believed in a community where people met each other where they were and that they gave love freely and that they didn’t distinguish between worthy and unworthy and that was a core value for our founders and the way that they wanted us to approach healthcare.”
The MLK clinic and pharmacy provide services valued over $14 million to over 1,500 patients annually. They also offer free classes diabetes prevention, living with diabetes, healthy eating and nutrition. An empty lot next to the center has been transformed into a garden and learning center.
Students from NSU College of Nursing and LSUHSC School of Medicine and School of Allied Health Professions gain valuable experience in the delivery of health care to medically vulnerable patients. The clinic’s patient services make it a valuable clinical laboratory for many degree programs.
NSU Nursing has been involved with MLK since its inception with both undergraduate and graduate nursing students as well as Doctor of Nursing Practice students completing projects there. Four members of NSU Nursing faculty are involved in the nurse management of the clinic.
“I think sometimes our students have just a very narrow perspective of what a patient is or where a patient comes from and that perspective is generally skewed by their own life experience,” Clawson said. “So, coming to MLK and having their minds expanded, which is actually education, has helped them to be better nurse practitioners, better nurses, better people. That’s been key.”
“Chronically Heal” can be viewed here: Chronically Heal Documentary. Executive producer is Jayne Ruben, consulting producer Matt Stanley, associate producers Josh Harvison, Danielle Scruggs and Jennifer Duckworth.
Information on the MLK Clinic is available at mlkhealth.org or by calling (318) 227-2912.