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Centenary partners with MLK Health Center for open houses

Kate Archer Kent

A Shreveport community health provider is getting marketing and brand consulting from a group of Centenary College students who are part of a living learning community called Santé. It’s the French word for “health.” Since August, the students have immersed themselves in the work done by MLK Health Center. Scott Myers, a biochemistry major from Monroe, La., said they were able to produce marketing materials through a grant.

“We’ve done patient volunteer interviews. We’ve done surveys to get demographic information to find out what the needs are of the community,” he said. “We made print materials and PowerPoints. We’ve even gotten them a Facebook page.”

The MLK Health Center accepts patients who don’t qualify for government insurance programs and cannot afford private insurance. The group will host two open houses this month for people who want to learn more about Santé’s work and how the clinic operates. Political science major Jordan Ring of Shreveport said it’s important for the MLK Health Center to tell its story in light of the current economy.

“We noticed there have been a lot of cutbacks in health care. Therefore, there’s going to be a lot more competition for the grants that sustain the clinic,” Ring said. “We wanted to create material that would get the word out and strengthen the communication between the community and the clinic in order to create a plan B.”

Centenary philosophy professor Chris Ciocchetti advises Santé. He said it’s designed to help Centenary students partner with local and international groups to improve the health of the least advantaged.

“They’re doing good right now. It’s not about what they’re going to accomplish in 20 years or 30 years. It’s today, right here, they helped solve this problem,” Ciocchetti said.

The first open house is Thursday, April 4, from 5 - 7 p.m. at the MLK Health Center. The second event is set for April 9 from 9 - 11 a.m. The open houses are free and open to the public.