Patricia Berryhill sits behind a desk in what not too long ago was her living room, cheerfully greeting those who walk in and reaching for the phone as it rings yet again.
"Lower Ninth Ward Health Clinic, Patricia Berryhill, may I help you?"
Sometimes the questions are routine -- this time more anxious.
"As for the HIV testing, if you come in on Tuesdays from 11 to 1, there is no charge," Berryhill tells the caller. "As for the Herpes virus, you are going to have to see a physician and make an appointment for that."
The patient files in the cabinets behind her now number more than 1,300, and 95 percent of those who walk through the door have no health insurance. The clinic asks for a $25 "co-payment" but no one is turned away if they cannot afford it. Read full article »