Getting healthy, thanks to Holton Wellness Center

By Purity Kimaiyo
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE

Residents of Northeast Central Durham can have a better lifestyle with the help of the Holton Wellness Center, a clinic located at 401 North Driver St. The Wellness Center provides primary care services to community members and vocational school students whose parents enroll them as clinic patients.

After opening a little over a year ago, people are pleased with the success of the clinic.

“The community loves the clinic especially because of its convenience,” says Dr. Audrey McKinnon, clinic supervisor. “Patients who would go to Lincoln clinic for  physical checkups had to wait for months  to be seen. They can now be seen in two weeks at the Wellness Center.”

Providers at the clinic treat chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma and hypertension. Other services include: physical exams, prevention testing and counseling, well-baby checks ups, hearing, vision, dental and nutrition screenings, treatment for accurate illness, routine immunization, lab testing, health education, counseling and referrals to specialists for injuries or illness that need additional care. They also provide services for urgent issues that would normally end up in the emergency room.

“The Wellness Center is receiving more patients each day,” said Corliss Gallaway, a nurse at the clinic. It has bilingual providers, catering to the Hispanic community.

The Wellness Center was founded and is run by the Duke University Health System collaborative community-based healthcare program with Lincoln Community Health.

The City of Durham, Durham Public Schools (DPS), Durham County, and Duke University Health System partnered as part of revitalization of Northeast Central Durham to ensure that the Holton Wellness Center was a success.

Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. is a special time in the clinic for teens. This time is dedicated to free testing, counseling, physical checkups and health education for teens.

Anne Derouin, a pediatric nurse practitioner with Duke University’s Division of Community manages the program and also runs a clinic in Southern High School.

“It is always encouraging to see teens coming back even after graduation,” said McKinnon. “It tells you how much they like us.”

The Wellness Center sits in a 2,600 square foot area. It has six exam rooms, a nurse’s station and reception. The clean, spacious and tidy waiting area helps patients feel calm and relaxed. A sign on the wall reads: “We can’t be our best if we don’t feel our best.”

The Holton Wellness Center accepts both the insured and uninsured, together with Medicaid, private insurance and Medicare. Uninsured patients pay $20, but people unable to pay this can work out a fair payment method.

For an appointment, call Lincoln at (919) 530-8210 (voice) or (919) 530-8309 (fax) or simply walk –in and schedule one. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“What used to be a dark building where gangs met and violence took place is now a safe zone, something the community is proud of,” said McKinnon.