NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — People in some parts of North Little Rock will soon have access to doctors who are much closer to home. A $5 million dollar project is underway for what will become the first full-service health clinic on the city's east side since 2013.
City leaders broke ground during a ceremony held on Monday and were very eager to get started.
"It's wonderful. I mean, I won't have to travel 20 minutes to a half hour," said President of the Rose City Neighborhood Association, Kenneth Abel.
Abel also added that he's very excited to have a clinic in the neighborhood again because the one they used to have burned down nearly 10 years ago.
"It will make a big difference because a lot of people here do not have transportation, they have to catch buses and depend on relatives to take them somewhere," Abel said.
Mayor Terry Hartwick was in attendance at the ceremony and mentioned that he had set his mind on bringing a new clinic to the east side several years ago.
"I'm very proud of what we're doing here along with the judges, our aldermen, our city. It's been needed and I'm glad to see it coming," Mayor Hartwick added.
He believes that the addition of a new clinic will help more than just those who live in Rose City.
"It's not just the East End. It's Dixie, Sherman Park, places like that will have a high-class medical clinic with lots of services and lots of people to help you," he said.
Dr. Stan Kellar, Chief Medical Officer at Baptist Health North Little Rock said, "It will be a family medicine clinic. So full range of services. As far as family medicine goes. They're trained to our emergency room at some trauma."
"The disparity that we see in health care outcomes is not just this community, there are other communities here in north little rock that probably be the attention, but this is a place to start," Kellar said.
Kellar also added that the clinic couldn't have come at a better time.
"This is one of the nicest and greatest things I've hoped to be a big part of," Abel said.
The clinic is expected to be completed by late 2023 or early 2024.