A special new medical center goes up in Lexington with a mission to help people of all backgrounds and cultures. The construction of the Family Medicine Specialist Clinic is almost complete.
A recent survey showed similar communities had more health resources. The $2.5 million facility is adjacent to Lexington Regional and will serve anyone in need including those not in minorities. The facility was also uniquely outfitted to serve the city's Somali and Latino minorities, even those who don't yet speak English.
"The very first word I knew was xanuun, which means pain," said Dr. Fran Acosta-Carlson, one of the primary care physicians at the new facility. It's a word doctors hear often from Somali patients who walk into Lexington clinics. "When you want them to sit down, you say fadhiiso and if you want them to lie down you say jiifsan."
Dr. Acosta–Carlson said it’s tough to try to care for the patients and learn a new language at the same time but that's what she's willing to do to help save lives in Lexington’s diverse community.
"At this point we have smattering of words, but even that is important to the patient because they are amazed that we know as much as we do," she said.
It's a place where patients without much English can find doctors who speak their language.
Don Young, the Director of Ancillary Services at Lexington Regional explained the unique set up of the medical center.
"The way this building is set up you will come into the reception area where you can be checked in and then there are four waiting areas -- one for each provider. So once you actually check in you go to that specific waiting area for that doctor or provider." Young adds that this will make a visit to the doctor's office more private.
There will be four primary healthcare providers in the new 8,000 square foot building.
Doctor Acosta–Carlson is among the bilingual physicians people will find at the new facility.
"There are some of us who are trying really hard to learn Somali.” Although, Lexington Regional does have interpreters on hand at all times she has learned a bit of Somali. Many physicians, nurses and receptionists also know Spanish.
"I think it’s just a matter of caring for them and teaching them that we want to care for them and that we do care about them as well," said Dr. Acosta-Carlson.
The medical center has found three of the four healthcare providers to fill the new facility. The building is set to open July 14.
The west side of the hospital is also seeing a $32,000 square foot addition which will be complete in a year and a half.