New medical center specializes in healthcare for older adults

Valerie Gaskins (right) shares information with Juanita Dawkins during a coffee and conversation meeting at Hunt Park Senior Apartment Community.

New medical center specializes in healthcare for older adults
March 02
10:24 2023

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

Get a group of older adults together and eventually the talk will turn to their health issues and complaints about doctors: appointments that take weeks to schedule, long waits before being seen, rushed visits, and lack of coordination among specialists, just to name a few. A new medical center in Winston-Salem is working to address those complaints and others with their patient-centered approach to caring for older adults.

Dedicated Senior Medical Center has recently opened their temporary office at 7830 Northpoint Blvd. in the strip center near the Winston-Salem Police substation, while their Southside location at 3409 Thomasville Road is being completed. A second location in Northside Shopping Center is also in the works. 

Valeria Gaskins, membership growth coordinator, was recently on site at Hunt Park Senior Apartment community talking with residents about Dedicated Senior Medical Center while serving refreshments. She visits senior centers, apartment communities and other places to introduce seniors to this new concept for healthcare.

Gaskins said that Dedicated Senior Medical Care was started in Florida by Dr. Chen and has expanded on the East Coast with almost 100 centers including North Carolina locations in Charlotte, Greensboro, Burlington, and a future center in High Point. The concept of purposeful healthcare for older adults was the result of an extremely negative experience of Dr. Chen when he faced a serious cancer diagnosis. With the difficulty he and his family of medical providers experienced with confusion and lack of communication among his doctors and family members, Dr. Chen thought if they were having this many issues, what were non-medical seniors going through? There had to be a better way.

Gaskins said that Dedicated Senior Medical Center provides a multitude of services in one location so that patients don’t have to go to one place for lab work, another for x-rays, another for medications. Their first goal is to find out the needs of the patient through a thorough exam and conversation so that a treatment plan can be developed to focus on health issues to improve a patient’s health and then to maintain good health. Preventive healthcare is an important part of their patient care. If a specialist is needed, they arrange those appointments and even provide transportation if needed. A coordinated care team manages each patient’s care to detect and manage high-risk diseases and reduce hospital and sick days.

Veterans are also welcome at Dedicated Senior Medical and it does not affect their VA benefits, but adds health benefits to their care plans.

“Love, accountability and passion drive our mission,” said Gaskins. They have in-house labs, x-rays, echocardiology exams, bone density scans, screening for diabetes and depression, as well as classes on how to become healthier and maintain your health. They see patients every month to check on their health and progress in managing chronic diseases. Most patients can get same-day appointments and the wait time is less than 15 minutes. They also provide many medications (no narcotics) so that patients don’t have to make another stop on their way home.

Gaskins said they also believe that socialization is important to overall health, so they hold bingo games, karaoke, doc talks, adult coloring, cornhole, and other activities at their center. They are a sponsor of  the 2023 Piedmont Plus Senior Games/SilverArts.

Gaskins and other membership growth consultants are available to visit independent living centers, senior groups, or other groups looking to learn more about senior health solutions and give presentations on Dedicated Senior Medical Center’s mission and services. They will provide bagels, coffee or bring bingo games for senior groups. Tours can also be arranged for individuals who are considering a new healthcare provider.

Gaskins loves her job helping older adults and it is obvious in her enthusiasm for sharing time answering questions or having conversations with seniors. Gaskins said one of their patients recently told her, “You’re my best friend because you treat me like family.”

If you would like to schedule a tour or a visit, call Valerie Gaskins at 336-690-7085 or email va;

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