Last week I had a wonderful visit at our new St. Joseph's Primary Care Center – West, the first site in our system to co-locate behavioral health, pediatrics, primary care, obstetrics, lab and medical imaging.
My comments to this wonderful staff were that they are pioneers, the first to look at how to deliver team care to a community that has experienced many challenges.
Syracuse’s West side has a unique history in our community, and now is home to many cultures and economic backgrounds. It is a community with deep roots and great hope for its future.
We have been there for many years in very tight space, but have learned a lot in that time. The team, now led by Dr. Luis Castro, medical director for family medicine and pediatrics, and Dr. Kwame Adusei, medical director for OBGYN, has the space and support to do what they always dreamed of doing, offering full access to care in one location.
They told me about a pregnant mother who came to the center, saw the primary doctor, had a sonogram and lab work, followed by the OB all in one visit! In the past that might have been four visits in four locations and she might have not made them all. Co-locating allowed the staff to take a different, more coordinated approach.
We know we have a lot to learn, but we also know the tools are coming to support this work. We now have the right facilities, followed by our new technology system, SJLinked/My St. Joseph’s, and we will develop the right procedures to truly integrate care.
Additionally we are blessed to have great partners supporting us including Syracuse University’s Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Near Westside initiative, Nojaim Brothers Grocery, and the New York State and Onondaga County Health Departments.
We are reaching out to connect with other neighbors and organizations in the West side to dream together about the future. Based on the enthusiasm of the staff this week, I have no doubt we will be successful! Congratulations to the donors and staff who helped make this center happen. Stay tuned!