HomeNewsWorld B. Free and others help celebrate opening of Oak Street Health

World B. Free and others help celebrate opening of Oak Street Health

Oak Street Health, which has been open since July at Roosevelt Mall, last Friday hosted its official grand opening.

The facility welcomes adults on Medicare as patients.

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Former 76ers guard World B. Free, 65, was in attendance to sign mini basketballs and talk up Oak Street Health. He is healthy after suffering a heart attack five years. He is looking forward to watching his former team this season.

“The Sixers are getting ready to be great,” he said.

City Councilman Bobby Henon described Oak Street Health as “a slam dunk.”

State Rep. Kevin Boyle said the area where Oak Street Health is located has among the highest older populations in the state, describing it as a naturally occurring retiring community, or “NORC.”

Boyle said Oak Street Health is needed with the closing of Hahnemann University Hospital, adding that it will save taxpayer money.

“It’s a cost effective way to provide care,” he said.

City Councilman Al Taubenberger, 66, chairman of the Aging Committee, thanked Oak Street Health for opening a site in the Northeast. He described it as a one-stop shop that improves neighborhoods.

“These health centers are such great benefits for senior citizens,” he said.

Marc Collazzo, executive director of the Mayfair Business Improvement District, and a representative from Northeast NORC were also on hand.

The facility features 14 exam rooms, along with a urine and blood draw room and space for upcoming behavioral health treatment.

Free rides are available to and from appointments. Often, patients can make next-day or same-day appointments, and walk-ins can be accommodated.

The center, across from an LA Fitness that is being built, also hosts regular activities in its community room such as yoga, board games, bingo and Tai chi that are open to patients and the public.

The Oak Street Health model includes patients spending more time with doctors. Dr. Melissa Rosato is on staff, and she’ll spend 40 minutes with patients on their first visit and at least 20 minutes with them on future visits. There is no double-booking of appointments, and Rosato works with a scribe so she can pay closer attention to patients.

Amyn Andharia, an Oak Street Health division president, said one goal is to reduce hospital emergency room visits and shorten hospital stays. Andharia said the center employs a social worker and helps patients understand insurance and the maze that is Medicare, particularly during open enrollment. Priorities include helping seniors live longer and enjoy more socialization.

“We care about the patients’ health outcomes and quality,” he said.

Hours are weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. A 24-hour patient support line is available. Call 844-808-8262.

For more information, visit oakstreethealth.com. ••

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