Sunday, July 21, 2019 || By Igor Studenkov || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Community members gather outside of Oak Street Health on July 20 to celebrate its 1-year anniversary in Bellwood. | Igor Studenkov
A year ago, Oak Street Health, a Chicago-based network of primary care clinics for Medicare patients, opened a location at 456 25th Ave. in Bellwood.
Since then, it has served roughly 1,000 patients from Bellwood, Broadview, Maywood, Melrose Park and other west suburbs, opening its space to the community, and hosting a variety of classes and events, among other activities.
On July 20, Oak Street marked its first anniversary with a party that included music, food and activities. Doctors were on hand to provide a variety of medical services.
Nitchka Hurd, the Bellwood location’s practice manager, said that most of their clients come from within eight miles of the facility. Hurd noted that, while primary care is the major component of Oak Street Health’s services, they offer more — including behavior health, on-site laboratory and social services.
Just this month, Hurd said, Oak Street Bellwood offered classes on healthy eating, jewelry making workshops, various arts and crafts classes, film screenings, an “exercise club,” and step and line dancing classes. Prewitt said that this past spring they provided free income tax preparation and hosted presentations on senior scams.
Victoria Prewitt, a community relations manager at Oak Street Health, said that she’s done extensive community outreach, going into senior buildings, parks, libraries and community centers, as well as area hospitals like Westlake in Melrose Park and Riveredge in Forest Park.
“Once I go into the community, my number one priority is to educate seniors there,” she said.
Eddie Hicks, of Bellwood, said that he was pleased with Oak Street Health.
“I like it,” he said. “My doctor is here, and they do a whole lot for the community.”
His granddaughter, Crystal Hicks, also of Bellwood, said that, while she couldn’t speak to what Oak Street Health usually does, she liked the event.
“I think that it’s nice that they do something for the people,” she said. VFP
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