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First fully-bilingual Norton Healthcare clinic opens in Okolona

La Clinica Preston will serve Louisville’s Hispanic and Spanish community.
La Clinica Preston will serve Louisville’s Hispanic and Spanish community.(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 2:14 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2021 at 7:42 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - In Okolona, Norton Healthcare opened its first 100% bilingual practice on Monday. La Clinica Preston will serve Hispanic communities in Louisville.

Liduvina Portillo, a nurse practitioner, described it as a gift to her Hispanic community because patients will feel understood and welcomed in the office.

“We understand their struggles we understand their culture,” Portillo said. “We also have been through the immigration process. We hope they identify with us.”

Portillo said she felt lost and unseen when she first arrived in America, as do many immigrants. As a patient, she said that none of her personal providers spoke Spanish and she recalled only one other student speaking Spanish in nursing school.

”I had to use the translator or sometimes just communicate with gestures,” Portillo said. “It’s sad, but that’s how it was.”

She said there is a large Spanish-speaking and immigrant population along Preston Highway that deserves to be seen, heard, and understood in order to gain easier access to healthcare.

”The healthcare system is very complex for anyone but imagine if you don’t speak the language how difficult it is,” Portillo said. “Not just speaking with your provider but scheduling an appointment.”

There are new radiation rooms at La Clinica Preston, as well as complete sample testing privacy. In the hallways, Spanish is displayed first on every label. More clinics like this, according to Portillo, would be a dream come true for the Hispanic community. She believes that serious community health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol could be addressed sooner if more healthcare options were available that cater directly to the Hispanic community.

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