By Kia O. Moore
In the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic, healthcare workers are continuing to provide much-needed services to those populations in the most need. On the Beatties Ford Road corridor, there is a healthcare provider that continues to serve the elderly, the homeless, the immunocompromised, and those in need of health services.
Quality Comprehensive Health Center is a one-stop healthcare shop that has been serving the West End community for over 16 years. With four locations in the West End and one in Concord, Quality Comprehensive Health Center has been adapting to the rapidly changing times that the coronavirus has brought on. The Historic West End Initiative newsletter caught up with Quality Comprehensive Health Center CEO Lisa Wigfall to learn more about the organization, its ties to the West End, and its reaction to coronavirus.
Q: What does your business do in the community?
Lisa Wigfall: At Quality, we provide a lot of different services to individuals within the West End community and the surrounding area. Our mission is to remove barriers to care for individuals and families, and provide the highest standard of primary and specialty healthcare to all our patients. We do this by providing a “one stop shop” style of service delivery for the community. Because our community is so diverse in its healthcare needs, we find that providing such a wide array of services in the same location makes it much easier on our patients, whether they come in for primary care needs, mental health services, case management or personal care service. While most of our work is located at our four office sites, our team also helps seniors with in-home needs, such as personal dressing and grooming.
Here in Mecklenburg County, a good portion of our clients live in the midst of the most threatened zip codes for healthcare disparities and related challenges such as poverty, homelessness, communicable and chronic diseases. Through a variety of programs, we are able to provide patients with personalized care as we work to make our historic West End community healthier.
Q: Please list some of the programs that you provide.
LW: Quality is always working to provide programs that reflect the needs of the West End community. One of the ways many of our clients are first introduced to the clinic is through our primary health care services, which include routine check-ups, treating diabetics and hypertension, common colds, providing allergy relief, etc. Our primary care team’s lead clinic staff is an African-American person with a doctorate in nurse practitioning who is dedicated to serving our patients. We are proud to serve everyone.
One of the specialty programs we offer is access to care for the homeless. Through this service, we offer homeless individuals outpatient mental health services, access to substance abuse management, and case management services. In addition, we work to link our homeless patients to important housing resources in the community.
Another one of our most impactful programs includes prevention services for the greater Charlotte region. At our various locations and through mobile events, we offer the full range of STD and STI testing. A benefit of our “one stop shop” services means that individuals who test positive for an STD/STI can immediately be linked to additional care in-house, where QCHC staff are ready to provide necessary treatments. Through this program the clinic has worked very closely with the Mecklenburg County Health Department since 2009.
As mentioned, QCHC also provides in-home personal care for patients who are in need of bathing, dressing and grooming services.
Q: Where are you all are located? What are your hours of operation?
LW: Our corporate office is at 3552 Beatties Ford Road. Our medical clinic is in the Prime Care Building at 3627 Beatties Ford Road, on the second floor. Prevention services for testing are on 1416 and 1420 Beatties Ford Road. We have expanded and now have a location in Concord as well.
Our typical hours are Monday - Friday from 9am to 5pm. However, because of the coronavirus we are currently open from 9a-3pm.
Given the strains of our health care workers, we are requiring patients to call ahead to come in for in-person care. Our office can be reached at 704-394-8968. We highly recommend individuals use our various telehealth portals as in-person services are limited due to the current pandemic.
Quality is pleased to share our Text-for-Testing campaign going on. All you have to do is text 704-726-5876 to schedule an appointment for individualized testing at our numerous locations.
Q: Why do you service the West End?
LW: I chose to establish Quality in the west side because I live on the west side and am committed to the community. I believe in a grassroots philosophy of community-based services and I felt like the west side represented a rich and historic community of which I am very proud of. At Quality, we serve all individuals, but in choosing a location for our offices, it was important to me to be able to provide quality health care services to all we serve.
Q: What can someone get here and nowhere else? What makes your business special?
LW: We are unique because we are a one-stop-shop. You can come to Quality and get all of your needs met in one place. That is important because a lot of times people don’t have time to keep taking off work to go to the doctor, especially when they have to factor in additional costs such as child care and transportation. People don’t have time to make separate appointments for someplace across town for mental health services or lab appointments, and are more likely to attend all of their appointments if they can access everything at one location.
As a one-stop-shop, our support staff helps patients with food supply and finding vouchers for resources that they need just to survive. The uniqueness of us is that we are comprehensive and complex because we provide everything in-house.
We are also unique because when you come to Quality you will experience compassion and compliance. We are always adhering to federal and state guidelines. You will receive services that are deemed nationally accredited just like at the larger health care settings. Our services and care receive national certification to make sure that we are adherent so people can trust our services. We are loyal and dedicated individuals that care about our patients.
Q: How has the business had to pivot since coronavirus hit?
LW: We have really had to change our operations to make sure that our staff is safe and that clients are safe. The majority of our staff are working from home. Our therapists who are all licensed, clinical social workers and licensed professional counselors, have a variety of ways to connect. If a person has Facetime, Skype, or Go-To Meetings, they are doing web-based meetings and virtual sessions.
We are doing teletherapy to try to help individuals through this tough time. Of course, with coronavirus, it causes a lot of anxiety. The news is on 24/7 about it, and while it is good to give this information during a pandemic, people are unable to turn it off. We are working hard to make sure our community has a safe outlet where they are able to talk. Telehealth is one mechanism we are using to help support the community.
On the medical side, if you are an established or new patient we still offer in-person services on Mondays, but telehealth services have been established to replace these services whenever possible.
Q: What challenges have coronavirus brought to Quality Comprehensive Health Center?
LW: We are struggling, just like everyone else, to find personal protective equipment. That is equipment like gloves, hand sanitizer, and those kinds of things. That has been very difficult because we take care of so many people that are elderly. We do in-home care with them. We also work with people who are immunocompromised and at a higher risk of becoming infected.
We are also very concerned about our homeless population. We were looking for tents and sleeping bags for this population because we were thinking if we could get tents for them maybe they could be socially isolated during this difficult time.
Right now, we are concerned about the coronavirus’ impact on the community because people don’t have the tools they need to stay safe.
Q: Anything else people should know about your business?
LW: We take all commercial insurances, Medicaid, and Medicare. And we are here to help. Even if people just want to call and ask questions and things of that nature, we are here. It is just about having conversations to keep people safe.
Safety and health is top of mind these days. However, Quality Comprehensive Health Center has been thinking about this and taking action in Charlotte’s West End for 16 years. If you are in need of healthcare services, consider making your way to the West End to get a compassionate and healthcare compliant experience with Quality Comprehensive Health Center.