One crisp Thursday morning one could see that the familiar green, blue and white balloons were set up by the door hours before guest were scheduled to arrive. In a shopping center known more for bustling weekend traffic and its Kroger super market, a place for local seniors to get medical care would be welcomed, if not confusing sight. This area has nothing like what was coming.

CenterWell, a national healthcare provider with locations in Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Nevada, Louisiana, and Missouri, has opened another senior primary care center, this time in the Wesley Chapel Square shopping center on Wesley Chapel Road. The center will be one of the few places seniors in the community can get full-service medical and personal care and according to CenterWell market president George Wheeler it’s the right place and right time for both the company and community. “With the choice of each one of our centers we look very closely to the needs of the community,” he said. 

Along with medical care seniors can look forward to the activity center. Visitors to the activity center do not have to CenterWell patients to take part in games, healthy cooking demonstrations, fitness activities and the group health care talks with physicians. 

The company plans to have all seven of its Georgia locations opened by the end if the year. The new Greenbriar location had its grand opening Friday, Mar. 11. The Adamsville center is scheduled to open in June, followed by centers in Grove Park and Stone Mountain. All of these areas could be described as deserts for senior-focussed medical care. “That’s why we’re here,” said CenterWell associate field director, sales marketing Kenny Brown. “This is an underserved community that could use our help.”

Brown and Wheeler say the company focusses on areas that have the greatest need. CenterWell has 200 locations across the country and is looking to double that number “within the next couple years,” according to Wheeler. That includes locations in new cities like Dallas, Nashville, Louisville and Phoenix. 

Shawn Houston, who is over community engagement in the area, including for the Greenbriar location, was in a hurry. She rushed through the door at the Wesley Chapel location and immediately took out her laptop. There were emails to get out before the guests arrived and she got busy showing them around the center. Following taking The Atlanta Voice on a quick tour, she spoke about the advantages seniors in the community will have as CenterWell patients. “Our goal is to have your wait time at 15 minutes or less,” she said. “The first visit is going to be at least 40 minutes though.” 

The first visit is usually what makes or breaks engagement with patients and Houston wants this location and others like in metro Atlanta to be different in that regard. That extra time with patients on their first visits can be used to build trust. “We’re trying to get to know you,” she said. “We want to take care of the whole person.”

The Wesley Chapel center is located at 2389 Wesley Chapel Road suite 102, in Decatur.  The Greenbriar location is also in Decatur at 3030 Headland Drive, SW, suite 600.