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September 23, 2019

Temple's new health center restores primary care to Sharswood

Adult Health Primary Care
Vaux Community Health Center Temple Photo Courtesy/Temple University

Nurse practitioner Shawn Jackson meets with a patient at the new Vaux Community Health Center in Philadelphia's Sharswood section.

Temple University swung open the doors to a new community health center earlier this month in section of North Philadelphia that has lacked primary care services for several years.

The Vaux Community Health Center is part of the Sharswood/Blumberg Neighborhood Transformation Plan, a revitalization effort headed by the Philadelphia Housing Authority. Funding is being provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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The nurse-managed primary care clinic, run by Temple's College of Public Health, is located within the former Vaux High School building at 2300 W. Master St. in Sharswood. The building now houses another school Vaux Big Picture High School – and various other community organizations. 

The opportunity to provide health care services in a building housing various community-minded organizations is particularly unique, Executive Director Marti Kubik said. 

"It's an opportunity for our college to provide health care related services for a community who lost their clinic out of this site in about 2015," Kubik said. "We're really grateful for the opportunity to be back in the community and a part of the development that's happening in the Vaux building."

The clinic will provide preventative services while also helping patients manage chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, nurse practioner Shawn Jackson said. Medical professionals also will work with residents to better understand vaccination milestones. 

The clinic, which accepts Medicaid, Medicare and most private insurers, also will advocate healthy diets and urge smoking cessation. 

"Because of the location of the clinic, it really is very advantageous for the community members to be able to walk somewhere that is close by for their primary care needs," nurse manager Sofia Carreno said. "This was something that was lacking the past few years because of the closure."

The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

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