HILLVIEW - In 25 years in the business, few people are as passionate about a cause as Dr. Mohana Arla.
Celebrating his 30th year of medical practice in Bullitt County, Arla is thankful. A young man who didn’t look or sound quite like many people in Bullitt County when he started practicing in Lebanon Junction, Arla has treated generations of patients since that time.
Medical care has changed over the years and Arla played a part in a portion of that change.
He also played a role in push toward post-secondary education in Bullitt County.
Now, he wants to be a part of law enforcement’s push to eradicate the county of drug use.
In a recent conversation, which is difficult for a man who doesn’t sit still for more than a few seconds, Arla and his wife remembered the first days in Lebanon Junction.
His wife was pregnant, Arla had broken his arm and his mentor had basically given him the keys and said he was retiring.
There were questions about why he took the position and why he would stay in Lebanon Junction. But Arla said it didn’t take long to know he made the right decision.
The acceptance of a doctor from India whose English was not as skilled as it is today was amazing.
He realized that accepting the position in Lebanon Junction would be the first of m any challenges he would conquer in life.
“The people in Lebanon Junction were so nice,” said Arla, who still has the office on Preston Highway. “I have always been so thankful for the people of Lebanon Junction.”
As he hopes to step back a little from the Hillview office as his son will be coming in to the practice, Arla said the Lebanon Junction facility would never close.
His biggest challenge to date was to improve the medical care in Bullitt County.
He remembered the days when Dr. Bruce Hamilton and himself were about the only full-time physicians in the county.
Arla is pleased with the growth in those provide medical care, including specialists, in the county.
Realizing the need for a hospital, Arla began the quest to get additional emergency care in the county. The dream was realized when Jewish Hospital announced its facility on Hebron Lane.
But it was also realized as more doctors moved to the area and Norton opened up an immediate care facility in Shepherdsville.
When the hospital cut the ribbon on the emergency room and medical offices, Arla had another challenge to throw at the county - a college.
Working with leaders in the community, such as Jesse Flynn, Nick Simon, Ray McGruder and Chester Porter, a task force was formed.
Jefferson Community and Technical College is now offering classes off Buffalo Run Road until a campus is built at the intersection of Highway 245 and Interstate 65.
His latest endeavor will be to serve as a deputy sheriff. He wants to lend all the support and expertise possible to get rid of drugs.
“I think I can make a difference,” said Arla. “This is a serious problem.”
Sheriff Donnie Tinnell welcomes the assistance and the expertise. He also knows that Arla is serious about serving the community.
Whether Arla will slow down a little to spend his time working with the sheriff’s department is yet to be seen.
“The community never let me down and I never let the community down,” said Arla. “I like a challenge and the satisfaction of meeting the challenge.”
Don’t look for Arla to slow down his medical work. He’s still making daily hospital rounds and he will still see patients after hours and on Saturdays.
If heredity plays a part, Arla has another 30-plus years to go. His grandfather lived to be 104 and his father died at the age of 94.
“I hope to inspire people one at a time,” said Arla. “I believe I’ve been able to make a difference.”