A look at health-related news of interest to South Philadelphians. This month: Wyss Wellness open at Bok, vaccine information, and LGBT Elder Initiative.
Hansjörg Wyss Wellness Center Opens at Bok
The long-awaited Hansjörg Wyss Wellness Center at BOK has opened to the public on March 8th. The medical office will be open weekdays from 8am – 5pm. The Wyss Wellness Center will be the hub of Jefferson’s clinical and educational outreach activities for South Philadelphia, particularly targeting the area’s immigrant and refugee populations. Jefferson clinicians will offer primary medical care services to all.
Those with or without medical insurance are welcome at Wyss Wellness. Jefferson, in close collaboration with local nonprofit SEAMAAC who will also have staff located at the Wyss Center, is excited to provide culturally competent and comprehensive services —regardless of health insurance or citizenship status. SEAMAAC will be operating in the location weekdays 9am – 5pm. Stop by anytime to sign up for an appointment – their direct entrance is on 8th St. (between Mifflin and Dudley).
The convention center site is currently only providing second doses of Covid-19 vaccines for the next weeks, but other smaller locations are continuing to open to better serve their communities. For the most up to date information, visit the city run update page.
The first city-run vaccination clinic opened in South Philadelphia at the Grand Yesha Ballroom on the 2300 block of Snyder Avenue in Point Breeze, and the second at the EOM Athletic Association at 144 Moore St, Philadelphia, PA 19148. These new sites are available by appointment for those in group 1B, over 65 years old with health risks. If there are leftover vaccinations at the end of the day they will welcome walk-ins. These city-run clinics can vaccinate up to 500 people per day and are designed to reach traditionally underserved neighborhoods.
The city maintains a map of all eligible vaccine providers, including pharmacies, which you can consult here. (This map strictly provides a visualization of where vaccine is being administered; it does not show where vaccine appointments are available at a given time.)
LGBT Elder Initiative at William Way
Following a historic merger of two Philadelphia LGBT organizations, the LGBT Elder Initiative at the William Way Community Center is now the Delaware Valley’s central hub for front line services for LGBT older adults. This population experiences higher rates of disability, disproportionately high rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer, increasing the severity and potential fatality of COVID-19 infection.
LGBT elders are also likely to experience mental and emotional stress due to their higher rates of isolation than the average senior population. Faced with bearing the brunt of continued discrimination at too many mainstream senior service organizations and entities, HIV positive LGBT older adults, as well as those living with other chronic health conditions, are at an exponentially higher risk of facing more serious illness from COVID-19.
Many LGBT people delay seeking medical care due to past discrimination in healthcare settings and may not have sought care until COVID-19 presented serious health complications. The numerous physical and mental health risks associated with loneliness have been worsened by months of self-isolation. LGBT Elder Initiative will provide regional care for this under-served group in the community.