Doctors hope to bring UTHSC health hub’s to neighborhoods in Memphis; opens first Saturday

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There is excitement in a Memphis neighborhood where many with an increased risk of certain health complications, seen in many African Americans, will now have access to healthcare right in their neighborhood.

It’s a model doctors are planning to expand to more neighborhoods in the city.

“It sustains life, and that’s what we want to do,” said Tanja Micthell, a longtime resident of the city’s Uptown neighborhood.

Mitchell said she is aware of the health issues, like diabetes and hypertension, facing many of those around her, in the predominantly African American community.

Mitchell said that awareness is why she said the Saturday morning ribbon cutting at a University of Tennessee Health Science Center health hub was a reason for excitement for the entire community.

“We don’t have to go to Harbortown, Germantown (or) Midtown; we can get healthcare here,” she said.

The health hub, the first of many planned by UTHSC, will allow certified health coaches to meet with patients, offering health screenings, advice on healthier eating, and preventative and primary care health services.

The city’s Uptown neighborhood is right around the corner from St. Jude and is one of the neighborhoods in the city most at risk for obesity-related health issues,” according to a press release about the event from UTHSC.

“To make a big difference, we’re going to need health hubs in every neighborhood,” said Jim Bailey, MD and director of the Center for Health Systems Improvement and the Tennessee Population Health Consortium at UTHSC.

The coaches can work with the doctor and with the patient to help them get to their health goals,” Bailey said Saturday morning.

Reaching health goals was why there was hope the hub could be the start of better health for many here and in other neighborhoods, in the future.

“I want my neighbors to be my neighbors 10 years from now, 20 years from now,” said Mitchell.