Medical clinic to open

July 8, 2011
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S. HUNTINGTON AVE.—A major new medical clinic is aiming to open next month inside Mount Pleasant Home’s new building.

Brigham and Women’s Advanced Primary Care, South Huntington at 301 S. Huntington Ave. will have a total of six doctors and up to 35 other staff members, according to Dr. Joseph Frolkis, the director of Brigham and Women’s Hospital Primary Care.

Despite being a long-term tenant of the senior home—whose large new wing just opened last week—the clinic is aimed at serving the general public, said Frolkis.

“The attraction is, they’ll be able to take an elevator to their doctor,” said Mount Pleasant Executive Director Merlin Southwick about residents of the home who choose to get care at the new clinic.

As for all of the other patients, there will be 26 on-site parking spaces for them. The staff will park on the street or use public transportation, Froklis said.

A medical tenant for the 9,000-square-foot space was a crucial part of funding the massive construction and renovation at Mount Pleasant. Originally, Jamaica Plain’s Urban Medical Group was to be the tenant. But Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center took over that practice last year and the deal fell through.

Mount Pleasant’s project has been years in the making. The freshly opened new wing is boosting the home’s capacity from 44 to 60 residents in largely affordable units, all with private bathrooms. The new space also features living rooms, activity spaces and a three-story atrium. The highly energy-efficient project includes solar panels on the roof.

The next phase of work is a gutting and renovation of the original Mount Pleasant building facing S. Huntington. That work will take about six months, Southwick said.

Brigham and Women’s is using the clinic as a pilot program for “team-based care,” said Frolkis. The model cuts down on one-on-one contact between doctor and patient. Instead, the doctor leads a team of staff members—such as nurses, nutritionists and social workers—who can treat minor problems while also informing patients about preventative care.

The model is becoming popular nationally as the number of primary care doctors decreases and the patient population increases, said Frolkis. That is because it is more efficient and reduces overall treatment costs by catching diseases early. All of Brigham and Women’s clinics likely will shift to the model, he said.

“It is in some ways pretty radical that the doctor isn’t the end-all, be-all” of a clinic visit, he said.

The new clinic has yet to be formally announced. Frolkis said a “launch plan” in coming weeks involves reaching out to elected officials and such organizations as the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council and the Hyde Square Task Force.

Brigham and Women’s has two affiliated community health centers in JP: Brookside and Southern Jamaica Plain. It also operates JP’s Faulkner Hospital, which includes a primary care practice.

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