CenterWell Senior Primary Care comes to Third Ward
CenterWell staff members gather for a group photo during the recent grand opening of their newThird Ward center. Photo by Aswad Walker.

Recently, CenterWell Senior Primary Care hosted the grand opening of its newest senior-focused primary care facility, located in One Emancipation Center (3131 Emancipation Ave.), the new structure across the street from Emancipation Park. CenterWell hopes their new facility will be viewed by residents as a symbol of rebirth in the Third Ward.

On hand were a bevvy of CenterWell staff members, including Reginal Manager Gail Venyah, Clinical Pharmacist Amy Kelleh and physician, Dr. Karen Millender.

“The importance of the day is unveiling a clinic in the Third Ward community that’s underserved, that’s going to be available to seniors in the community to bridge that gap, and to bring quality healthcare,” said Millender.

Among the grand opening highlights were center tours, multiple raffle drawings to win exciting prizes, food trucks, free boxes of non-perishable food from Target Hunger for the first 50 attendees and DJ Chilly Bill Smith from KTSU radio.

  • CenterWell Senior Primary Care comes to Third Ward

But the main attraction was the medical staff on hand to look out for all aspects of patient care.

“The differentiator for the clinic is that we try to address patients’ holistic needs, not just their medical needs,” said Kelleh. “We review for their social needs, as in any isolation or grief recently.”

Kelleh and Venyah mentioned that many of the patients they met are grandparents who might take care of their grandchildren, oftentimes on a limited income that’s stretched even more with their extended grandparenting duties.

“So, we try to help them with the food insecurity, cost of medications, simplifying their regiment, making sure we individualize care based on what’s important to the patient and based on what their medical goals are. That’s what makes us really different. We want to see our patients not just when they’re sick, but when they’re well, as well,” said Kelleh.

According to an official statement CenterWell offers “one-stop” healthcare with benefits that include longer visits with patients (up to 45 minutes); on-site labs; and access to pharmacists, mental health specialists and social workers to help with seniors’ behavioral, emotional, and social needs, such as food, transportation, and community programs.

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Aswad Walker

I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...