In an effort to address social drivers of health that hinder healthcare access, the North Carolina-based health system is locating a virtual care clinic within a Charlotte-based apartment complex.
Atrium Health is expanding its telehealth platform with a virtual care clinic located within an apartment complex.
The 40-hospital, North Carolina-based health system has announced a partnership with Ascent Housing that will locate the clinic in Charlotte's Peppertree Apartments. The clinic, featuring virtual care services and an on-site healthcare technician to assist with appointments, will offer primary and specialty care services for complex residents as well as non-residents.
The announcement is the latest in a wide variety of programs launched across the country to address social drivers of health, or non-clinical factors that affect clinical outcomes. They include family life, housing, transportation, income and employment, ethnic and community influences, education and digital literacy.
In some communities, health systems are partnering with community organizations to include healthcare services in planned housing complexes, alongside markets and food banks, libraries schools and other services.
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“At Atrium Health, we believe that it’s essential for people to have safe, sustainable and affordable housing, not only because it is integral to overall health and well-being, but because everyone deserves a secure space to call home,” Kinneil Coltman, executive vice president and chief community and social impact officer for Advocate Health, part of the Atrium Health network, said in a press release. “We also believe that healthcare is a fundamental right to which everyone should have access, regardless of their background, income or where they live."
[See also: Intermountain Funds Denver Clinic Expansion, Part of Innovative SDOH Project.]
"The opening of this virtual primary care location at Peppertree represents the first time Atrium Health has established a virtual care location directly in a housing community," she added. "With this virtual care location, we are taking a step toward closing the gap in healthcare access and making it easier for our patients to get the care they need and deserve.”
The clinic will include a telemedicine platform with digital health tools, including a connected otoscope, stethoscope, and high-resolution camera for comprehensive examinations overseen by providers at Atrium Health. It will also offer on-site testing for such concerns as COVID-19, the flu, strep throat and some infections.
The clinic will be open on weekdays, while after-hours and weekend services can be accessed through the health system's website and mobile health app.
The health system has launched a number of programs over the last few years to expand care into the community, including the Meaningful Medicine program, which was unveiled in 2022 to provide services to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District, Central Piedmont Community College and several YMCA sites.
Earlier this year, the health system announced a partnership with Best Buy to enhance its remote patient partnering platform, with technology and care management services overseen by Current Health, a Best Buy company.
Eric Wicklund is the Innovation and Technology Editor for HealthLeaders.
Atrium Health is locating a virtual care clinic within the Charlotte-based Peppertree Apartments complex, affering on-demand access to primary and specialty care services.
The program is one of many being launched around the country by health systems seeking to address social drivers of health, or non-clinical factors that affect clinical outcomes.
Within the past two years, Atrium Health has launched a healthcare program within a number of schools and YMCAs and expanded its remote patient monitoring platform through a partnership with Best Buy.