Evergreen Health Care is a non-profit that operates a number of health centers in he Baltimore area. Dr. Manisha Sharma, who shared Evergreen’s story with us, is the Medical director and a practicing physician at their Rotunda location.
Just to get started, tell us a bit about yourself personally?t
I am a family medicine physician and Medical Director at Evergreen Health Care, a network of non-profit health care centers that exist as part of a progressive health reform effort spearheaded by Dr. Peter Beilenson, former Baltimore City Health Commissioner and now CEO of Evergreen Health Co-op, our affiliate insurance company. I am new to Maryland, coming from New York City but now currently living in Baltimore City and loving it!
I am motivated by treating every person or family that I encounter with dignity, respect, the utmost compassion, and individualized attention. I’ve been a patient myself, and I know what it is like to be overwhelmed by an incredibly complicated system and up against insurance companies and bureaucracy! Now, as Medical Director of our four health centers and as a practicing Physician at our Rotunda location (733 W. 40th St) I feel proud that we are raising the standards of care for Marylanders by providing comprehensive medical care that pays attention to health of individual people and their families but also the health of our community, as health is not only about the absence of disease, but it is about where people, live, work, and play.
Evergreen health centers offer a new kind of health care; can you tell us a little bit about what you do and what makes Evergreen different?
We give patients access to a multidisciplinary healthcare team, which includes a medical assistant, a health coach (who is a social worker), a care coordinator (who is a nurse) and a provider (a medical doctor or Nurse Practitioner). One of the big differences is that we “flip the script” in terms of how a visit works. We don’t make our patients wait longer than five minutes, and patients get up to an hour with their healthcare team at each visit. This allows for us to really address what matters to you and your health.
Additionally, we are a comprehensive and family centered primary care center meaning that we can see everyone in your family from age 0 up; we do the full gamut of care, including women’s health, family planning, prenatal care, HIV primary care, LGBTQ primary care, chronic disease management, and more. And if you need a specialist, we have an excellent care coordinator who can take care of the “hassle” to get an appointment for you.
Obviously there is a lot of conversation and confusion around the Affordable Care Act, how does Evergreen work with ACA, can I get my ACA care at your clinic?
The Evergreen Health Co-op was “borne” out of Section 1322 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Co-op is about getting people covered; whereas the Evergreen Health Care Centers are about improving care. This responds to the “triple aim” of the ACA to make sure patients have access to health care, have quality health care that matters and improves patients’ health, and can help keep costs down for patients and healthcare in general.
What do you think the most important thing for people to know about health care is?
I personally believe that the most important thing is for people to feel that healthcare is their right, not a privilege. Everyone should have access to quality care. It is fundamental. You can’t have a healthy community if you don’t have healthy people living in it and with healthy surroundings. We at Evergreen Health Care believe in this and continue to strive and advocate for communities to have healthcare access and health as a right, not a privilege.
Why did Evergreen choose to be a sponsor of Greater Homewood? What does it mean to you to be involved in the community?
Community is the heart of where health is. GHCC finds a way to bring people from the community together and to educate them about resources and notable activity in their backyard, which is directly in line with our mission. Our mission is to be an integral part of the community and the “go-to community health center.”
What do you love about being located at the Rotunda?
I am new to Baltimore, so I love the history of the Rotunda and surrounding area. It is fascinating to watch the renovation of the Rotunda and to know that we are “anchors” amidst a great deal of growth for the neighborhood!
Our doors are open M-W-F from 7am – 3pm and Tues/Thurs 11am-7pm. So come on by and visit us or call 443-451-4993!