It’s been one year since the Allegheny Health Network opened an urgent care center in Braddock.
And in 12 months, more than 4,000 patients have been seen at the facility.
The urgent care center was opened following the closure of the UPMC Braddock Hospital in 2010 and years of community outcry about the lack of a medical facilities.
One Braddock resident credits AHN Urgent Care with saving her life.
Phyllis Greathouse-Brown, 73, has lived in Braddock her whole life. She was volunteering at the community’s Free Store, but she said one day a few months after the urgent care opened, she forgot to take her medication.
“After I was there (at the Free Store) for a while, they said I was acting different, you know, like spaced out, like I wasn’t there," she said. "So they asked me if I would come to the urgent care, but I didn’t think nothing was wrong, so I wasn’t going to come to no urgent care."
She said someone called Braddock Mayor John Fetterman who then convinced Greathouse-Brown to visit the clinic, which is adjacent to the Free Store.
“And I was rushed to Forbes Regional where I spent three days,” she said.
That’s because clinicians at the center found that her blood pressure was high enough to put her at risk of a stroke.
Patients from Braddock, and neighboring communities, have been treated for a wide range of illnesses and injuries, with some of the most serious cases being referred to Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville.
To mark the one-year anniversary of the facility, Highmark gave AHN a $200,000 grant for a year-long Community Health Improvement Plan. It's a four-point plan with the goal of improving health outcomes in Braddock and surrounding areas.
“One is expanded behavioral health services. Two is chronic care disease pathways -- treatments of diabetes, hypertension, heart failure on a longitudinal basis. The third one is in the area of cancer care, with screening, diagnosis and treatment. And the fourth one is in maternal health and pediatrics,” said William Johnjulio, head of the medical team at AHN Braddock.
The hope, said Johnjulio, is to coordinate with community leaders and host at least six different events.
The Urgent Care Center is part of a $20.3 million redevelopment project, that includes office and retail space, housing and a community park.