By Gloria Roemer
After much anticipation, Coastal Gateway Health Center officially opened its doors last week. The clinic is in Stowell, next to Tony’s BBQ on SH 124. Dozens of community leaders and members of the medical community attended the grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony. Chief Executive Officer Kaley Smith welcomed everyone and presented the history of the health center. “The Winnie-Stowell Hospital District had a vision many years ago to open a community health center and had a feasible study completed in 2016 and then again in 2021. Coastal Gateway Health Center was formed in January 2022 as a separate entity and became a 501©3 non-profit organization that same year. For the past 18 months, efforts to open a community health center have taken place behind the scenes, from the building to policy and procedures, to hiring medical providers and staff and everything in between. The health center officially opened its doors, and saw its first patient on September 25th of this year.” Smith added, “Our mission is quite simple … to provide access to quality healthcare to everyone in our communities. What we do is centered around the patient.”
Renowned physician, Dr. Michael Lyons, is the Chief Medical Officer for the health center. Lyons is a board-certified family physician who has practiced medicine for over 30 years. Lyons said, “Our mission for Coastal Gateway Health Center is simple yet profound: to deliver accessible, patient-centered healthcare with excellence in quality and service. We believe that health is not just about the absence of disease, but a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. And we are committed to making this mission a reality for each and every member of our community.” Lyons added, “But our commitment does not stop there. We are dedicated to making healthcare accessible and equitable for all, regardless of your background, income, or where you come from. We believe that healthcare is a fundamental human right, and we are here to ensure that this right is upheld.”
Greg Fountain, President of the health center Board of Directors, said, “This is just the beginning of a new healthcare journey in our area. The hospital district bought all the 12 acres of this site and are planning on establishing a healthcare campus over the years. As our area grows, the healthcare needs grow, and we plan on being able to provide the necessary care.”
Coastal Gateway Health Center board of directors are in addition to Fountain, are Gloria Way, Aimee Chesson, Debbie Breaux, Jeralyn Johnson, Marilyn Green, Maridee Trahan, Anthony Stramecki, and Ed Murrell. The Winnie-Stowell Hospital District Board of Directors are Ed Murrell, Jeff Rollo, Anthony Stramecki, Bobby Way, and Kacey Vratis.
To make an appointment, call 409-296-4444.