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New Family Health Center Provides Range of Services

by Eryn Moris

Columbia-St. Mary’s opened its new Family Health Center on the corner of North and Humboldt Avenues on Monday, March 3. The health care provider chose the Riverwest location in the storefronts adjacent to the Jewel-Osco store because it is centered in the community that it serves. Both clients and physicians find the new location convenient because of its proximity to the hospital on North Avenue and Lake Drive and its accessibility via public transportation. The new center provides residents from the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Family Practice Residency Program an opportunity to serve members of the Riverwest community with comprehensive and continuous medical care. The residents and physicians at the center specialize in family practice and are trained to provide care for patients in every stage of life, from obstetric to geriatric medicine. The Family Practice Residency Program is a three-year curriculum designed to provide recent medical school graduates with individualized, hands-on experience, while continuing their training in general medicine. Each resident is a licensed physician whose primary responsibilities include preventative medicine, patient education, and continuity of patient care. Through this type of patient-centered care, residents will gain valuable experience for their future practices. The Family Health Center employs about 50 residents and board-certified physicians, who care for more than 2000 patients each month. The new location, which is three times the size of the old facility on North Lake Drive, houses 24 examination rooms, an x-ray procedure room, laboratories, and several conference rooms. There is an adjacent parking lot with ample handicapped parking, limited street parking, and a loading zone for patients. Inside there is a large reception area with a pint-sized table and chairs for children, as well as a video monitor that plays children’s movies. Two bulletin boards on a central wall boast dozens of pictures of the center’s pediatric patients. The Family Health Care Center is not an emergency room or walk-in clinic. In order to be treated, patients must make an appointment at 267-5000. To become a patient of Columbia-St. Mary’s Family Health Care Center, you must verify with your insurance provider or HMO that you are eligible for treatment by physicians from the Medical College of Wisconsin. Most insurance plans are accepted, including Medicare and Medicaid. Those without insurance can arrange to pay for their care on an income-based sliding scale. The center operates Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and offers services such as annual exams and physicals, women’s health and gynecology, low-risk obstetrics, minor surgery, sports medicine, and counseling. On Saturday mornings, the Family Health Center provides a free clinic for the uninsured. Patients are treated by volunteer medical students and physicians on a first-come-first-served basis, and may receive any of the services provided by the center during its regular hours of operation. In order to be treated, patients should arrive at the center between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. The first patients are seen around 8:30 a.m. and the clinic closes around 2 p.m. Riverwest Currents – Volume 2 – Issue 4 – April 2003
by Eryn Moris