A month or so ago while ubering, I happen to pick up a fare near a beautiful building on the bustling and historic Cecil B. Moore Avenue, close to Temple University’s main campus in lower North Philly.
During the brief ride shuttling the young professional couple down Cecil B. – they were headed to Alamodak Restaurant – I asked if they knew anything about the building across the street from where I picked them up. Funny enough, the male was connected to it. He informed me that he worked with the pharmacy inside the relatively new community-based health care services facility, Project HOME’s Stephen Klein Wellness Center.
A Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), the center is located in Philadelphia’s second-poorest zip code and a federally-designated Medically Underserved Area (MUA). With some 70% of households earning incomes less than $35,000 per year, and nearly half of adults and children living at or below the federal poverty level, residents in this area experience unemployment at twice the city’s average rate.
Named after the center’s lead financier Stephen Klein — a champion of the wellness project for several years — the center provides a myriad of services. Focusing on a more holistic approach that centers on wellness and prevention, services at the center include primary care, behavioral health care, dental care, a pharmacy, wellness classes, a Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA, and a host of other services that extends beyond medical care.
“If you look around this community, a wonderful change is occurring, new housing is being built, the Honickman Learning Center is here, Temple is moving west on Cecil B. Moore Avenue, and now the Wellness Center,” Stephen B. Klein said in a 2015 released statement. “Times are changing in North Philadelphia, and I’m privileged to be a part of it,“ stated the CEO of The Klein Company and Temple Law alum.
I was impressed with all that the fare (a Drexel University grad if my memory serves me correctly) shared about the center and his work. One of the things that stood out was when he explained he worked for (or with) a pharmaceutical company, in some capacity, that supported the center.
I entered “Americorp Berger pharmacutical” in my phone’s Safari browser, as I waited at a red light, the young brother continuing to share details about the center. His lady friend appeared a little puzzled, perhaps perturbed, at our engagement and my strange curiosity and wonderment. Continue reading