Oak Street Health celebrated the grand opening of its Tyler facility and the re-opening of its community room, where patients can take weekly exercise classes, connect with friends and enjoy other recreational activities. 

A local radio station, along with community partners and insurance brokers joined Oak Street Health in celebrating the occasion, and connected with local community and adults. 

Michelle Ubi, outreach director for Oak Street Health, said they officially started seeing patients since May 27, but took the day to officially celebrate the arrival of Oak Street Health to the East Texas area. 

In addition to Tyler, Oak Street Health also opened a facility in Longview, which celebrated its grand opening earlier this month, Ubi said. 

The primary care center services all adults who have medicare, offering a variety of options, such as workout and tech classes, a community space, transportation to and from appointments and same day and next day appointments.

The facility has three physicians, who specialize in internal medicine and urology, and one nurse, as well as a diabetes program, and supplies the COVID-19 vaccine to anyone who would like one, Ubi said. 

The facility also features 19 exam rooms and a patient relations manager, who assists patients with benefits of medicare and financial assistance, an effort Oak Street Health makes to not only inform, but educate patients and help them get the most out of their benefits.

"To me, even me being in my 20s, when I go to the doctor, and that's me having an appointment, I have to wait in the waiting room for about 20, 30 minutes, and when I see my doctor, I never see my doctor, I would probably see the nurse that would rush in and rush out, not even look at me with their computer screen, tapping away and they're out the room," Ubi said. 

She said what makes Oak Street Health special is that they offer up to 40 minutes with an actual doctor, along with a scribe, who takes notes so doctors can be face-to-face with patients.  

She also said when a patient makes an appointment, there is a zero wait time. 

"That's what really sets us apart. We value care over just a number," Ubi said. 

The facility welcomes patients ranging from symptoms of hypertension, diabetes, to cancer. 

"We coordinate with any kind of specialist the person may need, whether that be a heart doctor, gastro doctor...," Ubi said, adding they can see anyone with something as small as an ear ache, to as big as wound care. 

Masks are required when inside the center. The facility offers a 24 hour line for patients to use when offices are closed.  Hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


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Bilingual Multimedia Journalist

I cover COVID-19 and health in the East Texas area for Tyler Morning Telegraph, the Longview News-Journal and Tyler Paper Español. Stephen F. Austin State University alumna. For story ideas, email me at rtorres@tylerpaper.com.