The Riverside neighborhood of Wilmington has for many years been one of the most under-resourced parts of the state. More recently, though, it has been the focus of an ongoing $250 million revitalization project overseen by the nonprofit REACH Riverside that includes the development of a mixed-income housing community and an updated community center.
Kingswood Community Center, part of The WRK Group alongside teen-focused The Warehouse and REACH Riverside, has just had a major upgrade: The Coker Family Resource Center, a new addition made possible by a donation from the Coker family. The Cokers are well-known members of the Riverside and Wilmington communities, including civil rights leader Beatrice “Bebe” Coker and her daughters, community philanthropists Dr. Joan Coker, Laurie Coker Reid and Julie Coker.
A central component to the new resource center is access to virtual healthcare via ChristianaCare Virtual Health.
“This is an entirely new model of health care powered by data and technology to make it easier for people to access care when they need it, and one that fosters strong relationships between patients and their care team,” said Dr. Janice E. Nevin, president and CEO of ChristianaCare, in a statement. “In our commitment to make a positive impact on health for everyone in the communities we serve, we’re excited to bring this leading-edge model of care to our neighbors at Riverside.”
Patients can come to The Coker Family Resource Center to connect to ChristianaCare Virtual Health for a virtual healthcare appointment and receive access to medical services including in-person exams and vaccines. Patients with a smartphone, tablet or laptop with camera and an internet connection will also be able to access appointments from home, if they choose. In-person technology help is available at the Center for patients who need it.
The pandemic prompted increased use and awareness of telemedicine, especially as an access issue for those unable to attend appointments in person. Delaware Libraries, for instance, just launched three telehealth kiosks in Sussex County, with more to come.
“At ChristianaCare, we’ve actually been developing this kind of care since the launch of our Virtual Primary Care practice for ChristianaCare caregivers in 2018, in addition to our CareVio data-powered care management platform,” said Sharon Anderson, chief virtual health officer at ChristianaCare. “What we’re able to provide today is not just video visits, but an entirely new kind of care that’s always on — it enables patients to interact with their care team when they need support through video visits, secure text messages and other ways that provide care in ways that fit into each person’s lifestyle.”
Making healthcare more accessible in the Riverside neighborhood has been a long-time goal of The WRK Group, said CEO Logan S. Herring, Sr.
“Creating this physical and virtual space is an achievement for our community and one in a series of initiatives The WRK Group plans to bring to the local area,” he said.