Baptist Medical Center Beaches opens new AgeWell Center

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Baptist Medical Center Beaches celebrated the opening of its new AgeWell Center for Senior Health with a ribbon-cutting event on Monday, Dec. 3 at its campus in Jacksonville Beach.

The new AgeWell location, which provides a special kind of primary care for adults 65 and older, is the second for Baptist Health. The first center opened in 2012 on the campus of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville and has served more than 1,000 patients to date. The facility, located in Medical Office Building A, brings together geriatricians, pharmacists, psychologists and more to one location to offer a complete way for seniors to manage their health and get ahead of the common issues of aging.

The culmination of the evening included photos and the ribbon-cutting ceremony with Jacksonville Beach Mayor Charlie Latham; Dr. Courtney Ross of Baptist Health; AgeWell Executive Director Earl Evens; Baptist Medical Center Beaches President Joe Mitrick; AgeWell Center Director Mimi Holman; Dr. Richard Glock of Baptist Health; Baptist Health President and CEO Hugh Greene; and Baptist Health President and COO John Wilbanks.

According to Holman, the new location will benefit patients who were having a difficult time reaching the downtown office on Prudential Drive in Jacksonville.

"They're very used to being down here and getting services down here and it was just really an inconvenience to them," she said. "We didn't feel we were truly serving the aging population here in the Beaches area."

Holman went on to tout the multi-disciplinary model used by AgeWell to offer patients a variety of services, from speech and language pathology to physical therapy.

According to Dr. Ross, the social services offered at the AgeWell Center make it a unique facility for Beaches area seniors. In the past, the geriatrician said she dealt with patients who couldn't focus on their medical issues because they needed specialized social services first.

"I, for my training, knew generally what they might need but didn't have the social services team or specialists to help me to get them access to those resources," she said.

With AgeWell, patients can receive both social services and medical care in one place.

Furthermore, both Ross and Holman said they were touched by the testimony of a patient named Sheila Weinstein — who conveyed during her speech that the elderly community sometimes feels invisible or forgotten. Part of Baptist Health's mission, through AgeWell, is to remedy that perception by offering patients more face-to-face time with medical professionals who care about them and their issues.

"The practice that I came from before this — regardless of the patient's age, complexity, social situation — I had 15-minute visits for my established patients and for a new patient visit was 20 to 30 if I stretched it," Ross explained. "To be able to have a minimum of 30 minutes face-to-face time for an established visit is great, not just for me because it gives me time to get caught up with what's been going on and be accurate and complete in my documentation, but also from the patient standpoint."

AgeWell accepts Medicare, and a physician referral is not required for a doctor's appointment. For more information on the facility, call (904) 202-4243 or visit www.BaptistAgeWell.com.

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