As needs grow, Healthy Aging and Wellness responds and expands
In 2021, the Center for Healthy Aging and Wellness embarked on a transformative partnership with the SIU Center for Family Medicine, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), to extend its reach and provide essential care to older adults and individuals struggling with substance use in central Illinois.
This spring, the center moved to a new location on the ground floor of the Centrum Building, 319 East Madison St., in Springfield. Within the state-of-the-art facility, patients receive a range of individualized services to enhance their health. Both sides of the clinic offer social counseling and advanced care planning.
For adults over 60, the center’s three primary care physicians are all experienced geriatricians, specially trained to provide care for an aging population. Guests are allotted longer appointment times than regular clinics, 30 to 90 minutes.
Location and convenience are important when you are older. Continuity of care is provided wherever the patient is. In addition to clinic appointments, providers can visit patients in assisted living facilities, their homes, or in the hospital. They can also coordinate with interdisciplinary team members: other SIU physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, behavioral health providers, social workers, nutritionists and community health workers.
The Healthy Aging group has seen an increase in visits to residential nursing home locations post-COVID and as a result of its Internal Medicine collaboration.
“We’d love to expand and hire more personnel to accommodate the demand for aging care in the region,” said Natalie Brockmeyer, medical services administrator for the center.
The clinicians also provide palliative care for those with serious illnesses, with the goal to improve quality of life for both the patient and their family.
For holistic wellness, Corry Meyers, a board-certified doctor of acupuncture and East Asian medicine, offers restorative care in a walk-in clinic that is one of the busiest across family medicine, said Brockmeyer. His “care corner” is stocked with an assortment of herbs and Eastern medicine preparations. Meyers offers ear acupuncture for $5 two days a week, and full-body acupuncture the rest of the week for $55. From the clinic, he assists a regular client base with diets, therapies and treatments to restore function and health.
The other half of the center’s space is dedicated to its medication-assisted recovery (MAR) program for patients with an opioid- or an alcohol-use disorder. The clinicians combine medications with behavioral health therapy to aid patients who are interested in recovery. Patients can obtain services in the clinic through self-referral, physician referral, or through referrals from other community recovery organizations. Workflows in the clinics are designed for maximum confidentiality.
The physician group anticipates adding an addiction medicine fellowship with two new fellows in 2024. “We would like to continue to emphasize and shift our clinic toward the patient focused-care that SIU Medicine is known for,” said Dr. Camille Dunkley, director of the MAR clinic.
At present, there is no wait-list. The MAR clinic can be contacted at 217-545-4781.