The journey of aging often presents unique health care challenges that a rushed 15-minute doctor’s appointment cannot begin to address. That’s why patients at Legacy Community Health’s senior primary care clinics can expect longer appointments with their doctors and a team specially trained in caring for the health of older adults.

Legacy Community Health has been providing high quality health care services across southeast Texas for over 40 years and has more than 50 locations, three of which are solely dedicated to providing primary health care for older adults. The first location opened in Third Ward in March 2021 and serves Harris County. The second and third locations serve Fort Bend County and are located in Stafford and Missouri City, respectively.

Specialized staff at Legacy Community Health senior clinics

Director of Clinical Operations - Senior Care Chinelo Nweke said establishing clinics specializing in senior care provides patients with personalized and specialized support to meet all of their health and wellness needs. Part of the care model is making seniors’ health care experience more collaborative and building a strong team approach to delivering care across all clinics.

Nweke said each location is led by board-certified geriatricians who have completed additional fellowships specific to geriatric care and the journey of aging.

The team also includes:
  • a registered dietician
  • a geriatric psychiatrist
  • a pharmacy program specialist,
  • and a geriatric social worker.
Nweke said having a staff with a range of specialties speaks to the organization’s collaborative, comprehensive approach to health care.

“When patients come to our clinic for those primary care needs, they also have the ability to receive additional support from other members of our team and focus on the whole being and not just a portion of their care,” Nweke said.

The importance of preventative care

Associate Medical Director Dr. Jung-Hoon Kim works at the Third Ward location and said his experience at Legacy Community Health has been wonderful.

“It’s hard to get this experience at other locations,” he said. “I really enjoy the long-term relationship with my patients ... We become their partners in health and wellness.”

He recently led an educational session sharing his top tips for maximizing patients’ time at doctor’s appointments, and said he is an advocate for building a strong patient-provider relationship.

Dr. Kim said preventative care should be a top priority for seniors, and patients should be checking their blood pressure and cholesterol levels at least once a year, in addition to staying up to date on their vaccinations for illnesses that pose increased health risks for older adults, including Covid-19, flu, pneumonia and shingles.

“As we get older, our physiology and biology change, and the importance of prevention is imperative—don’t wait until you develop the disease,” he said. “Guidelines are guidelines, but care needs to be individualized.”

When seniors are completing a preventative care visit, the provider will go into the patient’s past health history and create a care plan during the hour-long visit. New patients also get an hour-long visit, which helps to foster a relationship and allows for enough time to learn details about their lives and family history.

Lab services, medication management, and referral programs

Of the three senior clinics, the two Fort Bend sites offer X-rays, and all three locations provide lab services, which allows patients to get any necessary lab work done in-house. Additionally, the Legacy Pharmacy is available to both Legacy and non-Legacy patients and provides benefits like one-on-one medication counseling with a pharmacist and the option to select prescription pick-up or free home delivery.

Legacy Community Health is also involved with other programs and can refer patients to its sister clinics in the surrounding area for other services like vision or dental care.

Educational community events

In addition to providing high quality primary care, Legacy Community Health’s senior clinics also provide education and awareness initiatives, which aim to help patients better understand their health and recommended practices for their age group.

The organization recently held a free Covid-19 vaccine and open house event on May 6 where attendees could receive free Covid-19, Flu, TDAP, Shingrix and PCV20 vaccines. The event also featured blood pressure screenings, consultations with a pharmacist, group fitness classes and an opportunity to meet the clinic’s senior care team.

“Hosting these events not only gives our patients an opportunity to meet others like them and build those relationships, but also gives us an opportunity to bring more awareness and education about needs specific to this community,” Nweke said.

Past senior care events include a healthy cooking series led by a registered dietician; a session on understanding medication adherence; and a presentation on dementia by the clinic’s geriatric psychiatrist.

Find more information about Legacy Community Health’s clinics and initiatives here. For geriatric-specific clinic information, visit the website here, and for information on Legacy Pharmacy services, click here.

The above story was produced by Summer El-Shahawy with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team. Our integrity promise to our readers is to clearly identify all CI Storytelling posts so they are separate from the content decided upon, researched and written by our journalism department.