Pearland - Friendswood Edition | June 2020

PEOPLE

Health Care Edition 2020

PeriyananVaduganathan, founder of The SEVAClinic

“WE NEED TO BE THE PRIMARY CARE CLINIC FOR PEOPLEWHO CANNOT AFFORD TO HAVE A PRIMARY CARE DOCTOR.” DR. NATHAN, FOUNDER OF THE SEVA CLINIC

BY HALEY MORRISON

The SEVA Clinic celebrated three years of operation in Pearland on May 20. The clinic, which typically serves lower-income, uninsured patients, has grown since its opening in 2017. Community Impact Newspaper talked with Dr. Periyanan Vaduganathan, known as Dr. Nathan, about the clinic’s growth, adjustments during the coronavirus and plans for the future. This article has

been edited for length and clarity. HOWHAS THE SEVA CLINIC GROWN SINCE IT OPENED? We now see routinely 25 patients a week. That is our limit also because we have two physicians. We have two exam rooms, are continuing to sell generic medications and do lab tests as well. On June 18, we are going to resume everything back to normal at the clinic, but phone and video visits will still be available. If patients have COVID-19 symptoms, we will be happy to help them on the phone. The big change is that we are now doing appointments. Patients can call and go to website and secure a timeslot. They will be asked to come in only three patients at a time. That’s better for the patient and for every- body because of the social distancing. We are putting sneeze guards in place for volunteers. I am in the process of procuring [personal protective equipment] for the clinic. ARE THE APPOINTMENTS NEW CHANGESWITH COVID - 19, ORWAS THE CLINIC GOING TOADD THAT ANYWAY? Appointments are speci fi c to social distancing, but it’s good because now patients don’t have to wait for two hours. If you come on a Thursday,

there will be 40 people in the waiting room. If you come at 5:30 p.m., the whole area is full, and people are waiting outside. We get ready by 5 or 5:15 p.m., and many days I don’t get done by 8 p.m. Jim and Hita Dickson are in the process of getting a bigger space for their facility, Christian Helping Hands, and SEVA Clinic will likely move there, and then we could probably start seeing patients more times a week. But that is fi ve years down the line; they have only just bought the land. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU SEE A LOT OF PATIENTS COME IN FOR? A lot of patients do not have primary care physicians. We need to be the primary care clinic for people who cannot a ff ord to have a primary care doctor. We have the scope to do more things like imaging, X-ray and cardiographs, but that will come when we have more space to do those things. I have just been steadily increasing services to the extent that it runs smoothly. I don’t want it to go large scale in a short time and then we cannot keep up with it.

From left: Founder Periyanan Vaduganathan, medical director Subhadra Bandhakavi and nursing director Joanne Barrett pose with Pearland Mayor Tom Reid. (Courtesy SEVA Clinic)

HAVE YOU FOUND THERE IS A LARGE UNINSURED POPULATION IN THE AREA? Yes. I think it is going to get worse as the economic impact grows. People are going to lose jobs, and there is going to be much more need. If an individual is under the poverty line, they can get Medicaid. A lot of people are not in that level—they may make $30,000 or $40,000 a year, but that is not enough for a big family. Even if someone has insur- ance, but with a large deductible, they come to the clinic. If there is more unemployment in the next year, and there will be, they may lose their insurance. The need for the services is going to increase.

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SEVAClinic 335 N. Texas Ave., Pearland 281-942-7382 www.sevaclinic-texas.org Hours: Thu. 5:30-7:30 p.m.

SUFFERING FROM VARICOSE VEINS? Extra precautions are in place to ensure new & existing patients can safely receive treatment during COVID-19. IF YOU EXPERIENCE..... Varicose Veins or Bulging Veins • Poor Circulation • Leg Pain • Leg Swelling • Leg Ulcers or Sores Leg Cramps when you walk • Restless Legs • Leg Heaviness & Fatigue • Peripheral Vascular Disease... We Can Help! Non-surgical treatment is available! Covered by most insurance plans.

www.CoastalVascular.net Call 281-500-9519 to schedule an appointment

Located at 8619 W Broadway St #105, Pearland, TX 77584 Easily accessible from Beltway 8 or Highway 288

D. C. Ayar, MD

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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