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LECOM Celebrates Opening of Primary Care Office at Erie’s JFK Center

New practice reaffirms College’s commitment to providing care where it’s most needed

Aug. 19, 2014 — The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) and the John F. Kennedy Center today held a Grand Opening celebration for LECOM’s Primary Care Office at the Center, 2021 East 20th St.

Representatives from the Center and from LECOM also held a ribbon cutting for the office, which will be staffed by Mark Baker, DO, a family medicine physician with Medical Associates of Erie (MAE), the clinical practices of LECOM. The JFK Center last housed a primary care office eight years ago.

Mark Baker, DO (second from left), was joined by the JFK Center’s Robert A. Oakley, Sr. Rita Brocke, RSM, and Samella Hudson-Brewton (second from right) for the Ribbon Cutting for LECOM’s Primary Care Office at the Center, 2021 East 20th St.

“We have waited and waited for this type of partnership,” said Samella Hudson-Brewton, the Center’s Executive Director. “It’s been a long, hard road. The provision of affordable and accessible primary health care is an integral part of our mission. We are excited and proud to work hand-in-hand with LECOM.”

Robert A. Oakley, President of the JFK Center’s Board of Directors, joined Hudson-Brewton in officially welcoming LECOM. “We are grateful for LECOM’s investment in, and commitment to, the health of the community,” he said. “A primary care office will be a win-win for the Center, for the neighborhood, and for LECOM.”

LECOM’s presence at the Center is an affirmation of its commitment to providing care where it’s needed the most, Dr. Baker said. “LECOM shares in the JFK Center’s excitement in establishing a primary care practice in a medically underserved area,” he said. “We appreciate the JFK Center’s trust in LECOM and look forward to working with an organization with a long and proud history of serving residents of northeast Erie and beyond.”

The LECOM Primary Care Office at the JFK Center is open three days a week, including both morning and afternoon hours, and offers primary care services for infants, children, adults, and seniors. Access to primary care services will be especially convenient for the many families and individuals who live within walking distance of the JFK Center, as well as its nearly 150 daily visitors of all ages.

“Ease of access is critical for any successful primary care practice,” Dr. Baker said. “We’re focusing on reducing disparities in access to care, particularly among disadvantaged patients.”

Beyond serving a geographic area with a limited number of primary care physicians, LECOM also hopes that its presence will help increase health literacy among nearby residents and visitors to the Center. “I hope to help patients better understand chronic conditions and how to treat and manage them,” Dr. Baker said. “Education, as well as access to care, is vital to improving outcomes and lowering costs.

More about the JFK Center

The JFK Center’s mission is to address the health, educational, social, and vocational needs of lower-income residents in disadvantaged areas in Erie. Its after-school program targets the nearly 2,700 children, ages 5-18, who live near the Center. In addition, the JFK Center is one of the sites locally to administer the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.

More about LECOM and Mark Baker, DO

With campuses in Erie and Greensburg, Pa., and Bradenton, Fla., the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) is training the next generation of osteopathic physicians, pharmacy practitioners, and dentists through programs of excellence in education, research, clinical care, and community service. LECOM’s professional programs are dedicated to serve all students through innovative curriculum and the development of postdoctoral education and interprofessional experiences.

LECOM, the nation’s largest medical college by enrollment, had a national economic impact of $593 million in 2013, an increase of 80 percent compared with 2009.

Dr. Baker earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is board certified in family medicine and completed his medical residency at Millcreek Community Hospital.

Prior to joining Medical Associates of Erie, Dr. Baker served as Strategic Initiatives Director for Wexford Health Sources in Pittsburgh.

LECOM’s Primary Care Office at the JFK Center can be reached at 814-899-0687.