A new facility touted as part of a modern day solution to serious health care problems—particularly in areas where there is a shortage of providers— has opened inside the CVS pharmacy in the Benning community.

The MinuteClinic health care center, located in Ward 7 on the 300 block of 40th St. N.E., is the second to open in the District since last November. The other is operated from the CVS on Bladensburg Road and serves residents in neighborhoods that include Trinidad, Carver Langston and the Gallaudet University campus.

Both facilities are open seven days a week, allowing residents to see a nurse practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of common illness. The clinics, for which no appointment is needed, also administer vaccines and perform high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and high cholesterol monitoring.

The Benning clinic is also within walking distance of Metro stations on the orange and blue lines, as well as Metrobus service.

Nationally, MinuteClinic, a subsidiary of CVS Caremark, has generated more than 8 million patient visits, with a 95 percent customer satisfaction rating. However, according to a company spokeswoman, about 60 percent of the patients they serve don’t have a primary care physician.

“So, I think that it’s important to know that what we’re really bringing to the Benning community is access to some high-quality health care that’s convenient and affordable in a neighborhood close to where people live and work,” Paulette Thabault, a MinuteClinic chief nurse practitioner, told the AFRO.

“It’s been important to us to open the clinics in an urban neighborhood where at times, access is an even greater barrier.”

Thabault added that even if a patient is seen at a MinuteClinic, then at another facility their same electronic medical records are easily accessible to her establishments. “Which allows us to quickly send vital information to their primary care providers,” she said, in alluding to the centers’ efforts toward “working in a collaborative style.”

Most health insurance is accepted at MinuteClinic locations in the District, including Medicaid and Medicare.

So far, there are 23 MinuteClinic health care centers inside select CVS pharmacies in Northern Virginia and Maryland counties surrounding the District.

 

DorothyRowley

AFROStaffWriter