New medical center on North Main Street caters to senior citizens, provides easier access to doctors
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — After seeing patients at a temporary site for several months, Dedicated Senior Medical Center on North Main Street held its grand opening on Wednesday morning.
According to staff, while there are 125 centers around the U.S. like this one, the new facility is the first of its kind in South Carolina.
Congressman Jim Clyburn received a tour of the building before speaking to the crowd about some of the benefits the center offers — including no appointments being necessary for established patients and direct access to doctors.
“A doctor that allows you to have his cell phone on your person, so you can call when you need it. That is the kind of service that we need in this community,” says Congressman Clyburn to the crowd at Wednesday’s grand opening.
The center also offers patients activities like line dancing, yoga, Zumba, and gardening.
Dr. Ashley Peterson says the benefits give the center a more personalized feel, especially with patients having their doctor’s phone numbers.
“Because if you’re sick today but you have to wait for feedback in three days, that may not work depending on what’s going on. So we try to provide real time feedback,” says Dr. Peterson.
According to Dr. Peterson, doctors at other facilities may see between 2,000 and 3,000 patients. Each doctor at Dedicated Senior Medical Center caps out at 450 patients — allowing for a more personal experience.
“That’s a huge difference. That’s why you get that 1-on-1 love, attention, and dedication here at Dedicated (Senior Medical Center),” says Dr. Peterson.
Johnnie Mae Jackson says she feels comfortable at the center.
“And that’s what I love, because some doctors tell you, ‘Call me anytime’ and you call and they say, ‘Why is she calling at this time?’ But they don’t. They are here. When they say they’re here, they’re here. They’re not playing. And I just love them to death,” says Jackson.
106-year-old Lecie Shell Worthy is a patient at Dedicated Senior Medical Center as well. After singing to the crowd at the grand opening, and cutting the ceremonial ribbon at Wednesday’s ceremony, Shell Worthy says she isn’t quite sure the secret to her long life, saying, “Talk to God. He’s the one who gave me this long life! You gotta talk to him about that! I can’t go over him!”
Dr. Peterson says the North Main Street location was chosen because of the 15,000 eligible seniors within a ten mile radius of the center.