Longtime Grandmont Rosedale resident Linda Thomas had earned her retirement after working for many years in the automotive industry. That rest turned into something a little more sustained though, a maybe a little less healthy. Linda’s granddaughter noticed this, and, according to Linda, said “’You really ought to get out.’” Linda’s granddaughter told her about a trip to see Black Panther that Oak Street Health at 18610 Fenkell in the Grandland shopping mall was organizing. Oak Street Health had reserved 700 seats for the new and very popular movie. Linda admits that she was just “sitting at home,” and agreed to go along. That outing eventually turned into a part-time job for Linda at Oak Street Health where she works as a Community Coordinator encouraging other seniors to “Get involved in what’s going on at Oak Street Health!” There are a lot of activities to choose from, and Linda is the master mind behind most of them. On Mondays there’s the “Bring Your Best” Card Party, and on Tuesdays it’s Hustle Class with Fast Freddy. Often on Wednesdays there is a Matinee Movie, and Fast Freddy returns on Thursdays for Hustle Classes. On Fridays the Computer Café runs from 10 – 11 am. An IT expert is there to help people with such things as learning how to Facetime grandkids or how to use Facebook. These community events take place in the lovely Community Room that Oak Street Health keeps stocked with healthy snacks and decaf coffee and tea.

A Comprehensive Approach to Good Health

According to Regional Manager Rafe Petty, Oak Street Health’s goal is to “provide better care to older, traditionally underserved communities.” The Rosedale Park clinic opened in 2016. It is one of five in the Detroit area, and one of 25 in the Midwest. On staff are two doctors, two nurse practitioners, “limo” drivers, administrative assistants, scribes, medical assistants, and of course, Linda. According to Rafe, most of the 30 employees of Oak Street Health Rosedale Park live within 10 miles of the clinic. Much of their focus is to keep Medicare patients “happy, healthy, and out of the hospital,” says Rafe. “It’s a comprehensive approach,” says Rafe, “we have concierge doctors which means that patients can call and get a same or next day appointment.” The patients spend twice as much time with doctors than is typical. The doctors and nurse practitioners work with a scribe to write the records so that the physicians can focus on the patients without having to writes notes during appointments. Oak Street Health will schedule appointments with specialists as needed, and Oak Street Health provides transportation to doctor appointments with their fleet of “green limousines.”

Hosting GRDC’s Super Senior Spring Fling Luncheon

Because Oak Street Health is focused on keeping seniors healthy, they understand that an important component to good health is community. GRDC’s Community Engagement Manager Kitty Yarbrough was looking for a space to host a luncheon to celebrate Grandmont Rosedale seniors, and she stopped in Oak Street Health because of its focus on seniors. Kitty met Linda who introduced Kitty to the Community Room and Kitty was “immediately taken with how beautiful and welcoming both the Community Room and Linda are!” The Thursday, May 3 Super Senior Spring Fling Luncheon from 11 am – 1 pm is just the kind of event Oak Street Health is looking to host. If you are interested, or if you have a neighbor or friend who you think could use some community interaction, let Kitty know that you’ll be attending at 313.387.4732, ext. 103 or kyarbrough@grandmontrosedale.com.

To find out more about Oak Street Health, visit their website at https://www.oakstreethealth.com/ or call 313.723.6000. You can also “like” Oak Street Health on Facebook. To find out more about the community events Oak Street Health offers, contact Linda Thomas at Linda.thomas@oakstreethealth.com.