HCSET celebrates reopening of its Shepherd clinic

The staff of the Health Center of Southeast Texas stand in front of the Shepherd clinic that was picked as the Business of the Month by the Shepherd Chamber of Commerce. The award was presented during the clinic's grand reopening and ribbon cuttings with the Shepherd and Coldspring chambers of commerce on Oct. 20.

Dual ribbon cutting ceremonies with the Coldspring and Shepherd chambers of commerce were held on Oct. 20 to celebrate the grand reopening of the Health Center of Southeast Texas’s clinic in Shepherd, located at 11 Woodland Park Drive off of US 59.

The Shepherd clinic is one of four HCSET branches – the others located in Cleveland, Livingston and Liberty. A fifth location now is being planned for Dayton.

Between the four current branches, the HCSET provided roughly 34,000 patient care visits to 13,195 individual patients who rely on them for medical care.

Steve Racciato, the director of HCSET, says the Shepherd area is particularly underserved, making the Shepherd clinic vitally important to residents in San Jacinto County.

“I think we are the only clinic in the county that has providers full-time five days a week. That’s absurd for a county this size,” Racciato said while giving a tour to guests at the reopening. “It’s a very underserved community.”

The Shepherd clinic is 2,500 square feet with four exam rooms, a laboratory, office space and a reception area. Racciato said the clinic is designed in such a way that it can be expanded in the future with additional exam rooms.

The Shepherd clinic opened in 2012. Prior to that, the HCSET operated its Shepherd clinic out of a rented office in the EMS building on Byrd Street in Shepherd.

“We only had 800 square feet with two exam rooms at that time. We’ve been able to grow from there to where we are today,” he said.

Steve Racciato, director of the Health Center of Southeast Texas, gives a tour of the Shepherd clinic to guests at the Oct. 20 ribbon cutting and grand reopening of the clinic.

The Health Center of Southeast Texas has 16 medical providers between its four locations – four medical doctors, eight nurse practitioners, two physician assistants and two behavioral health specialists. The medical director for the entire operation is Dr. Jasmine Sulaiman, who was named Country Doctor of the Year in 2016 by Staff Care, the nation’s leading temporary physician staffing firm.

The Health Center of Southeast Texas is a federally-qualified medical facility that was established to serve medically underserved people in the communities in which the clinics are located. The Cleveland clinic, located at 307 N. William Barnett Ave., recently celebrated the addition of a pharmacy that offers patients who meet certain income requirements and qualify for assistance to purchase prescriptions at vastly-reduced prices.

For more information on HCSET, go online to https://hcset.com/.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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