TYLER, Texas (KETK) – In March, KETK profiled women in the community who have been making a difference in East Texas.

Wednesday morning on KETK’s East Texas Live, Guerda Johnson was announced as the Remarkable Woman for 2022.

“It feels wonderful and it feels good that a lot of people believe in our mission and what we stand for, which is the healthcare for all,” said Johnson.

Originally from Haiti, Johnson is a mother and a business owner who loves helping others and believes everyone deserves good healthcare.

“It feels great that I feel like I know that I’m helping people,” said Johnson. “Although it’s a small thing, I’m helping many people that can come to the clinic and get the help that they need.”

Smart Choice Medical Clinic in Tyler, is a clinic for non-insured East Texans. At her clinic, anyone can come in, pay out of pocket and receive good quality care. The clinic is located at 3347 Old Jacksonville Hwy Suite 100.

Johnson said her clinic is a passion project to not only give people their basic right of healthcare but to talk and listen to the community. Listening is an important aspect of Smart Choice Medical Clinic because she says people want to be heard. 

“It’s important to me because I was one of those people when I first moved to this country,” Johnson said. “Even as far as recently where I didn’t have healthcare… I couldn’t afford healthcare.”

Johnson said her father realized Haiti was not a safe place for his children so he sent Guerda and her brother to East Texas more than 20 years ago for a better education and future. She had always been determined to use her education to become a nurse and then a nurse practitioner.

Through her experience in the medical field, Johnson realized there was an extreme need in the healthcare system.

“A lot of people, they are working citizens. They are working people. Their job doesn’t offer insurance,” Johnson said. “They don’t have money for every little thing that happens to them. Hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol. A lot of people end up at the emergency room.”

Johnson said her vision is for healthcare to not be called a privilege.

Johnson says she sees herself as a woman of East Texas, and that in her eyes, “All women are remarkable.” 

“I want to say thank you and to everybody, even though you might not have insurance there is hope and there is help out there,” Johnson said.