Originally posted on DrexelNow.
Drexel broke ground today for a major expansion of its nurse-managed health center in North Philadelphia.
Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke was on hand for the ceremonial event with Drexel President John A. Fry, benefactors Stephen and Sandra Sheller, College of Nursing and Health Professions Dean Gloria Donnelly, PhD, 11th Street Director Patricia Gerrity, PhD, Drexel trustees, faculty and students, and staff, patients and community members at 11th Street.
“When a neighborhood doesn’t have a good health care option, illness can be a barrier to every other type of progress that residents seek to make,” said Fry. “The nurses who founded the 11th Street center had innovative ideas for a holistic approach that not only treated illness, but sowed the seeds of good health. The staff handled more than 32,000 clinical visits from patients last year. That’s an incredible number, and pretty close to the maximum that the current facility can handle.”
The new two-story expansion will improve and expand current services offered to patients and the community in the center which is nationally recognized as a model of integrated care. It will also provide space for more students and faculty from Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions to train in interdisciplinary care. Dedicated space in the new wing will be available for more primary care visits, as well as for services provided by graduate students in Drexel’s department of Couple and Family Therapy, plus new studio space for dance, music and art therapies. More space also opens the potential for developing new programming and services in response to the community’s evolving needs.
“As a company, Gilbane always stresses the importance of giving back so we’re very excited to be involved in a project that aligns with our core values and one that will fulfill a such critical need in the community,” said Greg Dunkle, senior vice president at Gilbane Building Company which is building the new wing at 11th Street.
The expansion is made possible by a gift of $2.5 million from the Sheller Family Foundation; the expanded building will be renamed the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center.
“This center is a testament to what can happen when a community and a university work together,” Gerrity said.
The expanded health center building will be approximately 34,000 square feet, about double the size of the current 17,000 square foot space.
The center is a comprehensive nurse-managed health care home targeting a medically underserved population. The center provides primary care integrated with behavioral health, dental care and a full range of health-promotion programs, while offering Drexel students clinical training opportunities, at the forefront of a rapidly evolving health care system. The center is located in North Philadelphia in the middle of four public housing developments, offering affordable services to urban residents and to all who seek care.
Construction is expected to be complete in the fall of 2015.