Family First Healthcare Clinic serving the community

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A brand new health care clinic opened its doors in Picayune in an effort to meet the needs of local residents.

Family First Healthcare Clinic officially opened in mid August of this year, and is already seeing more clients than the owner’s business plan projected.

Nurse Practitioner Christie Keller and her sister, April Arnona, put together the business plan prior to opening the doors. Arnona is the practice manager for the clinic and has a background in accounting.

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The family run business is able to provide medical care for a variety of ailments through Kellar’s nearly nine years of medical experience and through the clinic’s collaborator, Dr. Dewitt Bolton, who has decades of experience. She said she is versed in treating high blood pressure, diabetes, respiratory infections and has even sutured wounds, just to name a few of the services offered.

Patients without medical insurance are charged on a sliding scale, enabling families to seek care at an affordable cost, Kellar said. Her goal is to provide medical care to those who can’t afford it and provide primary care to those who need it.

Kellar has a background in volunteering healthcare to people in the Picayune area. Prior to opening her own business, she worked at the Manna Ministries clinic and at an urgent care in Mississippi. She said she still volunteers at Manna Ministries at least once a month.

Her previous experience working at a busy urgent care in Collins, Miss., gave her the insight that she wanted to continue to provide medical care, but while being able to get to know her clientele.

At the urgent care she said she would care for up to 50 patients a day. At her new business, she said she was expecting to see about two patients a day. But the response has been more than expected. At times, as many as 12 patients came through the doors of the clinic; on average she sees about five.

“I feel that this is my calling,” Kellar said.

Most any kind of insurance is accepted at Family First Healthcare Clinic as well.

While pediatric care is not currently offered at the clinic, Kellar said she sees children who are sick.

Her five-year plan is to hire more staff, including another nurse practitioner who might be interested in adding pediatric care to the list of services.

The business currently employs two people full time, and Kellar said she plans to hire one more full time employee and a part time employee next month.

Two specials are being offered at the business during the month of October. Since it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the clinic is offering $25 cash payment breast exams.

During the month of February, the clinic will provide $45 cash pay heart healthy visits that will include blood pressure and cholesterol checks in recognition of Heart Health Awareness Month.

The business is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday to give working people a chance to receive care.

It is located at 2322 Highway 43 S. Suite C in Picayune. Staff can be reached by calling 769-242-2525.