When the orange ribbon was cut to open the new UTHSC Health Hub at Uptown Saturday morning, supporters of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, local leaders, and neighborhood residents responded with a round of applause.
Located at 534 North Second Street, the UTHSC Health Hub is a neighborhood approach to improving health in underserved areas of the community.
In addition to the ribbon cutting, the morning launch included an open house, health screenings, access to health and nutrition information, a healthy cooking demonstration, and the opportunity to get the COVID-19 vaccination.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Shelby County Health Department Director Michelle Taylor, MD, attended the event. Also attending was developer Henry Turley, who is a member of the UTHSC College of Medicine’s Board of Visitors advisory group. The Belz-Turley group, which was the developer of Uptown, offered the use of the corner office space on North Second for the UTHSC Health Hub. The Turley Foundation made a contribution to fund the start up.
The UTHSC Health Hub in Uptown is the first in what is hoped will be many locations established by the UTHSC College of Medicine to provide a convenient entry point to primary care in areas of Memphis and Shelby County that are underserved. The care will focus on three conditions – obesity, hypertension, and diabetes – all of which are linked to increased mortality.
The hub will be staffed by certified health coaches, who will do the screening for obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes; offer support for health behavior change and chronic disease and lifestyle management; and help patients to get access and referrals to essential primary and behavioral care.
Mayor Strickland praised the university’s commitment to the community.
“I am really excited about the work being done here,” Dr. Taylor said, adding that the UTHSC Health Hub is an important step forward in increasing access to primary care across the community.
“Everyone knows we don’t have enough access for essential primary care in Memphis,” said Jim Bailey, MD, MPH, FACP, Robert S. Pearce Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine, professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine, and director of the Center for Health Systems Improvement and the Tennessee Population Health Consortium at UTHSC. Dr. Bailey has led the health hub initiative. “The health hub will be the entry point to primary care, we hope.”
UTHSC College of Medicine Executive Dean Scott Strome, MD, said he was thrilled to see the Health Hub open its doors. “I so wanted to help our city and to help people be healthier,” he said.
The UTHSC Health Hub at Uptown will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome. For more information about the UTHSC Health Hub and upcoming free events there, go to https://uthsc.edu/healthhub/index.php or call 901.448.1956.