Tuesday, May 10, 2011

People's Community Health Center Open Gates - Pigtown's Primary Care Facility

I recently spoke with the new Regional Operations Director for Peoples Community Health Centers, SW Baltimore.  Vincent Sizemore is a patient, caring person.  He's a Baltimore native, which certainly shows by looking at his proud Ravens tattoo.  He is diligently trying to work with the community to improve relations and accessibility to all.  His office is here in Pigtown, so this will be his "home away from home" as he'll be around most days of the week. 

People's Open Gates, Image by GBA Architects
"People’s Community Health Centers’ Open Gates location has been a vital part of the Pigtown community for many years. Located at 1111 Washington Boulevard, the Open Gates Center is a full-service health care facility that sees an average of 200 patients each week. From kids’ checkups to women’s health to helping you get rid of the sniffles, Open Gates has you covered. We provide solid, dependable primary care as well as mental health and substance abuse services. In addition, we recently began construction on a state-of-the-art dental suite that will bring the latest in dental technology to the Pigtown community."
"For 40 years, People’s has believed that everyone’s entitled to quality medical care. At locations around Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County, People’s has provided solid, dependable care to all who seek it.Our team of experienced medical professionals are among the best in the business. They are available to see patients as follows:Jocelyn Hines, M.D., Family Practice
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9-4:30; Thursday 9-12:30Dana Lee, M.D., OB/GYN
Monday and Friday 9-4:30Bridgett Weiss, Nurse Practitioner, Family Practice
Monday-Friday 9-4:30Gina Rowe, Nurse Practitioner, Family Practice
Monday and Tuesday 9-4:30To schedule an appointment at Open Gates, call 410-467-6040.
People’s and Pigtown: partners in neighborhood health."

Their website includes other great info about their non-profit and the services they provide.   I also had a few questions, that hopefully help others:
  • Is it open to all income levels?  ie - can someone who makes $100,000/year and has insurance go?
    • PCHC is open to all income levels and insured patients. The only insurance we do not take is Kaiser and Jai.
  • Does Open Gates act as an urgency care center for smaller issues that may not require going to the Emergency room?
    • PCHC has urgent walk ins on a daily basis. You can get an appointment or come in and we will fit you in for medically urgent issues.
  • Can you go to Open Gates if you're delivering a baby?
    • PCHC has an OB/GYN on staff that see’s pregnant ladies and delivers at Maryland General Hospital. We do not deliver at the clinic.
  • Does Open Gates dispense any prescriptions? 
    • PCHC has an off site pharmacy the delivers twice a day to our centers. This pharmacy is for our patients. We are not a retail pharmacy.
  • Is there any limit to the kind of prescriptions Open Gates can write?  I guess one of the things I was thinking for prescriptions was birth control.
    • Medical providers can write almost any type of prescription, however our pharmacy has a limited formulary. We would be happy to provide you with this if needed. As far as birth control, our providers write and our pharmacy fill on a daily basis. So yes we do provide birth control.
  • It looks like you also sell health insurance according to your website.  Are there any brief details on that?  Is that sliding scale based?
    • We do not sell health insurance. We do have a sliding fee that is based on the patients income. We also assist patients with applying for PAC and Medical Assistance. Our goal is to get patients insured if they are eligible.
  • Also do you have free condoms?  
    • We do have condoms as well as doing free HIV testing, and free pregnancy test.
  • A friend of mine gets a prescription for hyperactivity.  Is that the sort of mental health service that Open Gates could provide, or write a prescription for?
    • Open Gates has a mental health counselor. Our Psychiatrist works out of our Brooklyn Park and Hero (Maryland Ave.) offices.
They are a primary care facility, which means they do annual physicals, pap smears, mammograms for women over 40, and other services that don't require a referral to a specialist.  A basic visit is about $20-25.  For sliding scale consideration, you will be required to bring proof of income and government ID.  Tax documents may be required for further verification depending on your circumstances (ie - unemployed).  

Give 'em a visit!  Vincent will be at the COP meeting (May 10th 7pm at 904 Washington Blvd), so feel free to stop in and ask him any questions you have.

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