How Southside United Health Center is Providing Care and Building Healthier Communities
By Trice Hickman
A Story of Growth, Change & New Beginnings
It was born of need, cultivated with care, and is growing with purpose. This may sound similar to a line of prose from a book of literature, but it is the evolution of how Southside United Health Center (SUHC) came to be what it is today. And much like a verse in a well-written book, the organization is carefully scripting its own story, which is filled with the makings of a bestseller.
SUHC began in 2003 as an outgrowth of community organizing activities lead by residents and community leaders who championed the need for access to healthcare for underserved residents in southeastern Winston-Salem. After incorporation as a 501 (c) (3), the planning work continued with the board of directors, various community partners, and volunteers who helped to shape the organization’s vision and mission. SUHC opened its doors to patients in 2009, serving 1,000 residents. Today, it has expanded to two locations and is on track to serve 4,500 patients in Forsyth County this calendar year.
“Southside’s continued existence and growth is a testament to what community partnerships can build,” said Dr. Richard Lord, when asked about his tenure at SUHC. Dr. Lord is Chair of Family & Community Medicine and Vice President of Population Health at Wake Forest Baptist Health (WFBH), and until recently, had served as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at SUHC. Last month he left that position, but will remain active by continuing to see patients while helping to further the work of cultivating growth and change at the organization. The growth and changes are coming in the form of expanded services under the clinical leadership of the new CMO, Dr. Wynne Brown, a native of Winston-Salem.
Dr. Brown, who served as Director of Student Health at Winston-Salem State University before coming to SUHC, is eager to help move the organization forward. “Being the Chief Medical Officer at SUHC offers me the opportunity to be of greater service to the community, insuring access to the best quality of care and health equity for those we are here to serve,” she said. “This next year will be one of continued growth, expansion, and integration of services through the foundation of the Patient Centered Medical Home.” SUHC currently provides high-quality, comprehensive medical and behavioral health services, and within the coming month will be adding dental services to all residents in Forsyth County.
SUHC is the only Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Forsyth County. In addition to a new CMO, the organization is undergoing a rebranding campaign that will include a name change, new logo, and a completely redesigned website in the coming weeks. “These changes will allow us to better serve our growing community,” said LaShun Huntley, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at SUHC. “We want to get the word out about the outstanding services we offer. From our compassionate providers, to our caring staff, to our engaged board of directors and community stakeholders, we are all committed to providing access to high quality care for all residents.”
SUHC’s new 3,000 square foot facility located at 1430 Felicity Lane, Winston-Salem, is currently accepting new patients. The clinic also offers the convenience of same day appointments. “We strive to provide quality, comprehensive care that is accessible for all,” said Mr. Huntley, who also noted that the organization is committed to meeting the needs of the residents they serve. Both clinics accept Medicare and will see patients regardless of their insurance status.
SUHC’s story is just beginning, and judging from the growth and changes on the horizon, the end is nowhere in sight.
Visit SUHC at one of their two locations in
3009 Waughtown Street, 336-293-8728
1430 Felicity Lane, 336-999-7655