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For Wanett Mims, taking care of her community is just as important as taking care of her patients. Mims, the founder and CEO of Raleigh-based Logistics Healthcare Management and co-founder of A Plus Family Care, knows that focusing on a healthy community and empowering young people can help a community thrive.
“We are here to build our community in whatever positive ways we can,” says Mims, who was born and raised in Raleigh. “Everywhere you go there is going to be an underserved population. We have a great team willing to help the best we can. We’re here for the moms in shelters and anyone else who needs us. We’re really big on partnerships because there’s so much to do that not one person can do it all.”
A Plus Family Care, which has locations on Garner Road in southeast Raleigh and on New Bern Avenue in northeast Raleigh, has been open for three years and is one of the few practices in the area that actively accepts Medicaid. The clinic’s pediatrics department is open six days a week, which Mims says helps keep kids out of the emergency room—and spares families the expense.
“A lot of our community uses the ER for their primary care,” Mims says. “We want them to know we’re here. We can get you in the same day. If you have a newborn and your Medicaid is pending, we’ll go ahead and see that baby and won’t wait. We really take pride in building the community physically, emotionally and partnering them up with mentorships that are available.”
A recent investigation from the News and Observer, in partnership with the nonprofit Center for Health Journalism, found that North Carolina has one of the worst records in the country for deaths of children a year old or younger; the high infant mortality rate for black babies is a major reason, and clinics like A Plus Family Care play a significant role in reversing this trend in urban areas.
As of now, A Plus Family Care is open and taking proactive steps and preventative measures to minimize risks of potential exposure to the Coronavirus for patients and employees, according to its website.
In an effort to continue building the community, A Plus Family Care has planned an event this month to promote wellness for the entire family. The Spring Fling takes place on April 25 at the Raleigh Boys Club (the event is still scheduled to take place as of press time) and will offer family friendly activities such as live music and face painting, but will also offer blood pressure checks for parents and free vouchers for sports physicals for children.
Guest speakers will be onsite to spread the message of health and empowerment, including a doctor who will speak on health matters and adolescence, and Christopher Mims, Wanett Mims’ husband, who will speak on building the community and what programs are available to residents.
By holding the event at the Raleigh Boys Club, Mims says the health fair will offer care and awareness to many citizens who might not seek it out otherwise. The Boys Club, she says, is within walking distance for many of her patients.
“Building the mental phase of our community is important,” says Mims. “The root of it is the health and the well-being of the family. We are a medical practice but we’re a family place. The kid can be seen here, and Mom and Dad also. Our goal is to build healthier families.”
Even Mims’ 9-year-old son, CJ, will join in the event, talking to kids about staying healthy, living a healthy lifestyle and how important it is to eat your breakfast. CJ is currently the only North Carolina basketball player on the National Youth All American watchlist for the Class of 2029.
“If you take care of your body, your body will take care of you,” says CJ, who has been playing basketball since he was 5 years old. “You want to stay healthy.”
By involving her family, Wanett Mims is a walking display of how parents and children can come together to live a healthy lifestyle. Through the Spring Fling, and other events she holds throughout the year such as Easter eggs hunts, trunk or treats and a back to school event in partnership with Lost Sheep Ministries, Mims demonstrates the positive effects of a bonding community. And so far, she’s done it with no publicity.
“We’ve never been in the news,” says Mims. “It’s all been word of mouth. With the population we serve, a lot of them aren’t on the internet. They’re at community events getting the necessary resources to survive. We focus on the entire family because we know that we can’t help the child without helping the mom.”
Learn more about A Plus Family Care at theaplusfamilycare.com
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