BOGALUSA, La. - When Eyewitness News received pictures of the lobby at the Washington Parish Health Unit in Bogalusa, we immediately brought them to the parish president.
'It was terrible.. the pictures,' said Richard Thomas, 'My public works directors met right after we talked with you. We're working hard getting someone over there now.'
Not only was Thomas upset about the dirty conditions and possible evidence of mold at the facility, which is run by DHH, he was angry having to learn about it through us.
Thomas said, 'This situation has really been where my people, somewhere, dropped the ball not doing anything and everyone has an excuse why it wasn't done.'
When we stopped by the clinic, questionable ceiling tiles were being replaced. Some parts of the building reflected the lobby, but other parts were better. However, one mold inspection and remediation expert says the building should not look like it does.
'Not any building, especially a health care facility, where people who may have respiratory issues are walking through the door,' said Jonathan Porter, owner of AdvantaClean in New Orleans. 'It's something that you want to take great care that those things aren't around.'
Porter said what he sees in the pictures is likely due to an A/C issue and exterior leak, and it's been there a while. The parish acknowledged a bid process has been completed for a new A/C unit and a roof leak has been identified. Leaders vow to have the clinic back in quality condition for the community in no time.
DHH gave us a statement about the clinic conditions saying, 'The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) takes very seriously the health and care of clients served in parish health units across the state. The Washington Parish President's Office has assured DHH that they will make repairs to the Washington Parish Health Unit in Bogalusa, and has reassured DHH that the repairs will not interfere with the delivery of health services in this parish health unit. DHH will continue to provide the health services to residents in this area since there is no health risk and we've been reassured that these repairs will soon be underway.'