Senior-focused medical offices opening in Port Arthur, hiring process nears

Published 12:12 am Saturday, June 20, 2020

HOUSTON — Time and ease can factor into how well a person’s visit to a primary care provider can go, and a new healthcare clinic coming to Port Arthur addresses both while focusing in the healthcare of seniors.

“I used to work in a regular kind of doctor’s office where I was expected to see patients every 15 minutes,” said Dr. Brie Loy, regional medical director for the Houston market of Partners in Primary Care.

“You don’t feel like you’re giving really good care and patients feel that as well. So, I moved into this senior-focused model. I think the patients appreciate most that extra time and feel they can really talk to their doctors about what is going on and what are their healthcare concerns. In 15 minutes, you don’t get to do that. So, they can really talk about those things.”

Dr. Brie Loy, left, is regional medical director for the Houston Market of Partners in Primary Care. At right, Brian Garrett is Partners’ regional operations director.

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Partners in Primary Care is opening 10 more healthcare clinics in Houston and surrounding locations over the next 12 months, including one in Port Arthur at 8555 Memorial Blvd. An open date is tentatively set for Sept. 21.

Examination rooms at each Partners center are measured between 120 and 125 square feet. For ease of use, waiting rooms include weighted chairs and no-slip floors, and doors are built wider to help seniors move in and out of each room easier.

In each medical room, a medical chair that can be converted into an exam table and a flatscreen television doctors can use to show exam results from a laptop are included. Care team members have their own team office instead of individual offices for group meetings, with built-in phone booths for care providers to privately call patients.

A laboratory is also on-site at each facility.

The upcoming Partners in Primary Care facility in Port Arthur will look similar to this existing location. (Courtesy photo)

Partners opened July 1, 2019, in the Houston area with five locations. Partners also has locations in Charleston, South Carolina; Gastonia, North Carolina; Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana; greater Kansas City; Las Vegas and Upstate South Carolina.

“From an operations standpoint, it’s more about the fact that you would see the patients needed more time and seniors come with a unique set of challenges, some of it being medical, some of it being social needs,” said Brian Garrett, Partners’ Houston regional operations director.

“It’s having a space like this where they can get the time, so our appointments are longer than most doctor’s offices. Where I worked at, it was 15s and 30s (15- and 30-minute appointments). In some places, it’s 10s and 20s. Well, we’re up to 60 minutes on an appointment, so that patient can get the time to spend with the provider.”

People who may be on disability but are younger than 65 can also be seen.

Partners is a wholly independent subsidiary of Humana Inc. It is open to Medicare Advantage patients from different Medicare health plans. The center also takes insurance from Cigna, Aetna, WellCare and Humana.

Brian Garrett shows how a medical chair in a doctor’s office can easily turn into an exam table.

“With the four plans we do take, there is an added benefit for the patient, whether it be transportation, some dental services, additional benefits with Medicare Advantage,” Garrett said.

Partners also addresses factors in a senior’s health that isn’t necessarily medical-related, Loy added.

“Do they have access to food? Do they have transportation? Are they dealing with depression and isolation and loneliness? Really having that care team to address things that impact their medical care in the end helps them take better care of themselves,” she said. “What we really want to do is give them the time to build relationships with the care team so they get engaged in their own health. I want seniors to want to take care of themselves.”

The company is hiring 80 clinicians and employees to staff the new facilities. Positions include primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, center administrators, clinical pharmacists, community engagement representatives, social workers and behavioral health specialists.

To learn more about employment opportunities or to apply for positions, visit: Bilingual candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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