Category Archives: Health

Our New Neighbor – Dedicated Senior Medical Center

by Yvette D. Burch RN

There is a new facility in our neighborhood, Dedicated Senior Medical Center (DSMC). It is located at 1575 N. 52nd. Street, Philadelphia Pa. 19131 in the 52nd street shopping Mall. As the
name implies DSMC is designed for senior citizens in the area, those residents in the 55 plus community. The mission of DSMC is to provide seniors with quality healthcare options that will improve their health and happiness. DSMC can provide door to door transportation, driving patients from there front doors to the medical center, when needed. They also accept many different
Medicare Advantage plans. Insurance representatives are always there to explain the types of insurance they accept.

As you enter the medical center which is called the living room, you can grab a drink and a snack. The average wait time is 15 minutes or less. DSMC offers all specialties such as cardiac, endocrine
pain management and podiatry. All radiology tests are done on premises except mammograms, but they will coordinate with other health centers. All radiology rooms are digital and results are given
within 24hrs. Certain medications are available in 60 –90-day supplies which is one of the best benefits – affordability.

DSMC also offers acupuncture as an alternative method instead of typical pain management. All members are given a life card. This card contains patient medical history, such as known allergies
and your latest EKG. It also gives access to enter the facility.

Each member is assigned a case manager, social worker, and nurse. All diabetic members are custom fitted for diabetic shoes. Each doctor has a maximum of 450 patients. Once that doctor reaches that patient capacity another doctor is added to the staff. This makes the doctor to patient visit more personable.

DSMC is under (PCP) Primary Care Provider which generates information automatically to DSMC. If a patient requires overnight care at a hospital a DSMC case manager and nurse will check on the
member. There is no overnight care at provided DSMC.

The founder of DSMC is Dr. J. Chen, his mission statement is “We believe in listening to and communicating with our patients in order to deliver care with respect and dignity – treating each patient as though they were a member of our own family”. After his own experience with a life-threatening illness, Dr. Chen vowed to create a place where patients receive first-class medical care
delivered with compassion and respect.

As a registered nurse myself, I found the tour of the medical center to be amazing. The set-up of the facility is excellent. The staff that talked to me was very professional and personable. I do agree this
medical center is a 5-star facility. DSMC has 3 other locations in Philadelphia 6431 Sackett Street in Mayfair, 2101 West Lehigh Ave in North Philadelphia and 5675 N. Front Street in Olney. Their
website is http://www.Dedicated.Care




Donor Dash Weekend: Life-Saving Events Culminate in 10K at the Art Museum

Buildings and Bridges to Light Up in Green and Blue Ahead of 24th Annual Race

The City of Brotherly Love will prove this weekend that no place has more heart. A series of events by Gift of Life Donor Program and its supporters will draw more than 10,000 people from throughout the Philadelphia region, raise hundreds of thousands of dollars and save lives by supporting organ and tissue donation.

On Friday evening, landmarks across the city will light up in green and blue – the official colors of organ donation awareness – as part of National Donate Life Blue and Green Day. Buildings will include the Ben Franklin Bridge, the BYN Mellon Center, Two Liberty Place, the Cira Centre Towers, and more.

On Saturday, runners from across the region will meet at the Gift of Life Family House for a picnic before race day.

On Sunday, the Gift of Life Donor Program will host more than 10,000 participants in the 24th Annual Donor Dash at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The Dash takes place every April, which is National Donate Life Month. More than 5,000 men, women, and children in the Philadelphia region are waiting for an organ transplant. They are among nearly 114,000 waiting nationwide. Twenty people on the waiting list die each day.

About the Donor Dash

Pre-race Picnic:                               Saturday, April 13

10:00am – 2:00pm

Gift of Life Family House

401 Callowhill St.

Philadelphia, PA 19123

Participants will collect their Dash race materials during a picnic. There will also be food, music, and more fun activities to get everyone pumped up for an exciting race the next day!

Sunday, April 14

                              6:00am: Registration opens

                              7:10am: 10K Run begins

                              7:20am: 5K Run begins

                              7:45am: Kids Fun Run begins (for kids six and under)

                              8:00am: Opening Ceremonies

8:30am: 3K Walk


Participants can register on-site the morning of the Dash. Click here for more information:

About the Gift of Life Donor Program

Gift of Life Donor Program is the non-profit, federally-designated organ procurement organization, serving 11.2 million people across the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware.  Its annual donation rate ranks among the highest in the world. Since 1974, Gift of Life has coordinated more than 47,000 life-saving organs for transplant, and approximately one million tissue transplants have resulted from the generosity of donors and their families.  One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people, and a tissue donor can enhance the lives of more than 75 others. For more information or to register, visit

About the Gift of Life Donor Dash

The Dash began with a group of only 800 people, as a result of Claire Braverman’s wish to honor her husband, Mickey, who passed away while waiting for a liver transplant.  Claire wanted to turn her grief into something positive, so she organized the first-ever Donor Dash in his memory.  Today, the Dash continues to honor Mickey, donors and donor families – and the more than 5,000 men, women and children in Gift of Life’s region who are awaiting a life-saving organ transplant.

The 2018 Donor Dash drew more than 10,000 dedicated Dashers, nearly 400 teams, and raised more than $600,000 for Gift of Life outreach programs to educate the community about the significant need to register more organ and tissue donors.

Contact: Karen Muldoon Geus


A Season for Giving by Jasmine Bullock

The holiday season is always an exciting time of year. Families and friends often fellowship and exchange gifts. It is also a time for giving and the West Philadelphia area is abundant with opportunities to give to people in need, of all ages. Community Coordinator, Pamela Evans has made it her mission to provide opportunities for students and families in need. Ms. Evans spent fifteen years serving the students and families of Discovery Charter School. Within the last year, she transitioned to Alain Locke Elementary, a Community School in West Philadelphia, where she has instituted several programs to service the families throughout the area.

The Locke school and Pam Evans have initiated a “Community Closet.” This space is open for donation of clothing and hygiene supplies for people of all ages. The donations of clothing, toys, baby supplies, and bath supplies are open to all but specifically those who reside in the West Park High Rise apartments and shelters. The Locke School is continuously open taking in tax deductible donations. They are especially in need of donations of diapers children’s clothing, and clothing adults can wear for job interviews. They are also looking for school uniforms and sweat pants to help discourage student absences due to lack of appropriate clothing.

This particular community closet is special because of the personal attention “shoppers” get when looking for items. The school has acquired a volunteer to work as a shopping attendant. This individual not only sorts and maintains the items donated to the closet, he also works with individuals to choose items to best fit their needs. The personal attention allows those in need to feel special and guarantees that they receive the right items.

Throughout the Thanksgiving holiday season, Ms. Evans has several missions planned. With the help of local organizations and businesses such as Westside Church and the People’s Emergency Center, Ms. Evans was able to organize the donation of approximately 45 Turkeys to families for their Thanksgiving feasts. Ms. Evans is proud that Lavish Restaurant at 4308 Lancaster Avenue will provide dinner on Thanksgiving for 300 people free of charge.

Ms. Evans also arranged for three students at the Locke School to have a dinner at Lavish Restaurant with their families. The students will be chosen through raffle based on their attendance and timeless to school throughout the month of November.

Another initiative that is thriving is the Gifts of Warmth Drive. This project looks to collect socks, hats, gloves and scarves for children in the area. Ms. Evans has partnered with local hair salons and barber shops on Lancaster Avenue to host donation boxes for their clients and members of the community to drop off donations.

The Gifts of Warmth initiative goes beyond the doors of the Locke School. Each year, the Please Touch museum collects coats for children in need. They send all of their donations to the Second Antioch Baptist Church. Rev. Dr. Joe Nock and his leadership team distribute the gifts of coats to not only members of the church who are in need but also to community members throughout Parkside. While winter is often thought of as a season for giving, donations to many of these initiatives can be given throughout the year. Sweater, scarf, hat, glove and sock donations can be left at the Please Touch Museum from November 24th through December 8th. All donations to the Locke School for the Community Closet can left in the main office of Alain Locke School, 4550 Haverford Avenue, from 8am to 3pm weekdays.

Remember, the holiday season is a time for fun and family but also a time to think about giving to families.

Food Cupboards in the Parkside Area

325 North 39th Street
Saturdays; 10:30am – 1:30pm

Church of New Hope and Faith
662 N. 39th Street
Monday, Wednesday, Friday; 9:30am – 3:30pm

Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral
19 South 19th Street
Mondays; 10am until 150 households are served

Grace Lutheran Church
3529 Haverford Avenue

Mt. Zion United Holy Church
4110 Haverford Avenue
West Philadelphia Seventh Day Adventist Church
4527 Haverford Avenue

Healthy Habits – Holidays and Beyond

by Maggie Davenport

With the Holiday season in full swing, physical activity has likely slowed way down and celebrating with family and friends is a regular occurrence. During this three to four-month period (from Halloween through New Year’s), the average person will gain between two (2) and 10 pounds. With the weight-loss and fitness
industry racking up profits in the billions, large numbers of the population are seeking help and it’s not just during the holidays.

Long before first Lady Michele Obama’s shout out for us to ‘keep it moving!’, it was a known reality that intake and output are what determines weight: If you eat (‘intake’) a meal that provides more calories (energy) than your body needs to maintain its normal functioning without burning the extra energy (‘output’), weight
gain will happen; if on the other hand ‘intake’ is less, then weight loss results. Our goal is to work toward a lifestyle that focuses on mindful eating plus finding a way to ‘move it’ that works for you.

No matter where you are in your healthy lifestyle journey, progress is within reach– even during the holidays. A good first step is being mindful of your actions, taking time to carefully consider the kinds and variety of food taken in and the amount that is needed to support a particular lifestyle. Secondly, an understanding of the kind and amount of nutrition that is needed helps to keep the focus on the ‘intake-output’ equation.


The experts all agreed that a well-balanced diet and activity are the foundation of good physical (and mental!) health. The US Department of Health and Human Services has set physical activity guidelines and recommendations for all age groups; the Department also suggests ways to adjust activity for a number of health conditions – like asthma and arthritis. Also, diet and activity help prevent ‘the big three’ diseases that large numbers of African Americans experience more often than other Americans: heart disease, diabetes and stroke. In addition to providing a social outlet for all ages, exercise also helps with the following:


Making sure to eat foods with good nutritional value is tough, the fast-food industry and ‘laid back’ lifestyles (code for low physical activity!) make it even harder. Knowing daily calorie (energy) requirements is helpful. The numbers range from 1,000 for a newborn to 3,200 for an adult male. To get some idea of the number of calories needed for your age, gender and lifestyle, go to ‘’ and enter the required information. This information will make reading and interpreting product labels more meaningful.
Take a look at the label below, use the right side as a guide:

Additionally, many minority and ethnic communities prefer traditionally prepared food,
especially around the holidays; many times, these foods are not nutritionally balanced and are
heavy in salt and fat. The National Institutes of Health provides substitutions that are based on
the ways that minority and ethnic groups prepare food. Keep in mind that genetics play a
huge part and many times, a family history of disease can mean that exercise and diet alone
are not enough to improve health conditions. Be sure to consult your physician as needed.

Make A Plan!

The next step is to make a plan for eating and movement that will become part of your regular routine behaviors during the holiday season and beyond. Mindfulness involves developing the habit of thinking about and planning what you eat and what you do and being aware or ‘present’ while you are doing it. The SMART goal-setting approach helps maintain this focus and can be applied to help achieve any outcome. Here are the steps:

S-Specific: Set specific actions that you will take.

M-Measurable: Make sure that the actions are measurable. This could be in time, distance, amount or any other measurable quantity (like 1 serving of a food item).

A-Attainable: Be sure that your goal is ‘doable’ and can reached.

R-Realistic: (or relevant): Set a goal that is realistic to and for your purposes.

T-Time: Set a time-frame within which you want to achieve your goals. Make this the holiday season that you get the jump on extra weight gain- take control of your health!

Indego Bike Profile: Lorraine Gomez

by Michael Burch

Meet Lorraine Gomez a longtime resident of East Parkside and a relatively new member of the Indego Bike family. Lorraine lives in Parkside and works in Mantua. Lorraine is the community coordinator at Mount Vernon Manor, a CDC that specializes in neighborhood revitalization and related services to West Philadelphia. Lorraine is also a driving force in her community and serves as block captain to her East Parkside neighborhood and president of VSRA.

She does not yet ride her Indego bike to work but she is building towards it. Lorraine is a stanch supporter of the senior citizens who live in her community. To that end she has partnered with Indego to host community friendly bike workshops for adults to learn to ride a bike again. This turns out to be very helpful for adults who may not have been on a bike in years.

She has run many programs to keep Seniors active. She feels that Indego bikes are a good way to keep seniors active and ambulatory for many years to come. As mentioned earlier a upcoming Adult Learn to Ride class is enrolling people now .These classes teach you the basics of urban riding and give you the confidence and knowledge to ride on Philadelphia streets. If you are interested in being in the next class call 215-910- 9206 for details and look for the flyer in the Parkside Happenings section of this paper. Lorraine is also working with Indego to create a neighborhood bike map for Parkside. That is something new bike riders could use. Lorraine feels that bikes are the perfect solution to the residential parking problem in her neighborhood and are a good way for older residents to stay in shape. For urban living, bikes could be the wave of the future. See you on the trail Lorraine!


Philadelphia’s “Park Champion” has a New Leader

by Jasmine Bullock

Jamie Gauthier is the new Director of the
Fairmount Park Conservancy

Since 1998, the Fairmount Park Foundation, now the Fairmount Park Conservancy, has invested millions of dollars in the Philadelphia park system. The organization is a “Park Champion” and has been so effective because of its understanding of the importance of parks to our city’s neighborhoods. The Fairmount Park Conservancy takes pride in increasing public awareness of the park’s role in contributing to the health and vibrancy of neighborhoods in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Today the Park Conservancy works very closely with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to develop and implement projects and programs that support, improve, and enhance Philadelphia’s parks. One of its premier programs is the Oval at the Art Museum that provides not only a play area for children, but also a beer garden and food truck hub for adults over a six week period during the summer. The Conservancy also works closely with community groups and over 115 Friends groups. The Conservancy aids in forming new groups and in sustaining and supporting existing groups dedicated to their neighborhood parks.

As of July 2017, the Fairmount Park Conservancy is under the new leadership of Jamie Gauthier. Gauthier is a native of Philadelphia who began her career at DuPont working in the field of accounting. During that time, she had a desire to do more meaningful work that helped cities and specifically the struggling communities of Philadelphia.

With a growing passion to work intimately with the community, Gauthier embarked on a graduate degree in Urban Studies and Planning from University of Pennsylvania. With a new career focus, Gauthier gave almost ten years of service to the Local Initiative Support Coalition (LISC). LISC is a national non-profit organization that provides capital from private sources to promote and support low income housing projects and community revitalization. Gauthier described LISC as a great place to learn but wished to serve in more of a leadership position.

Gauthier then became the Executive Director of the Sustainable Business network, a “Chamber of Commerce for socially conscious businesses”, as Gauthier describes it. After four years with this group and her recognition of the new potential that the new Philadelphia soda tax would provide, she decided that now was the right time to make a career change.

She made the decision to take the leadership position with the Philadelphia Parks Conservancy in order to take advantage of the Rebuild Initiative that was the direct result of the revenue produced by the soda tax. Rebuild is a $500 million program designed to revitalize neighborhood parks, recreational centers, playgrounds, and libraries across the city.

The funds are acquired from both the soda tax and private donations. Gauthier’s vision is to “connect and partner with the city to see the mission come to pass”.