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Say goodbye to impersonal health care

Community takes a different approach to health and wellness

Created date

July 24th, 2012

How many times have you trekked across town to get to your doctor s office only to sit in the waiting room for 30 minutes before you get 5 or 10 minutes with your doctor? Then, before you ve even had a chance to fully explain your symptoms, you re rushed out the door with a prescription that you have to fill at a pharmacy on the other side of town. No wonder so many of us dread going to the doctor.

The clock s not ticking

For the retirees living atFox Run, that kind of rushed and impersonal medical care is a thing of the past. The Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich., has a dedicated team of medical professionals that takes an entirely different approach to health care and wellness. Drs. Vrinda Suneja and Saigeetha Uthamarajan (affectionately referred to as Dr. U. by residents) head up the Fox Run medical team. Suneja is board certified in internal medicine and has been at Fox Run since 2003. Uthamarajan is board certified in family medicine and completed a fellowship in geriatric medicine. She came to Fox Run in 2007. Both physicians practice exclusively at Fox Run, and their standard appointments last 30 minutes. That means they have the time to truly focus on their patients to give them the best care possible. Ed and Shirley Handley moved to Fox Run from Kansas almost eight years ago. They ve been patients of Suneja ever since. My experience has been that I never have a feeling I am being rushed, Ed says. When I am with [Dr. Suneja], I have a feeling that right then I am the most important person to her. She takes time and listens to your concerns. What s more, Ed says, making an appointment and getting to the office isn t the hassle it was before he moved to Fox Run. He says he s able to get same-day appointments if he needs them. Plus, the medical center is located just a short indoor walk from community members own front doors. We don t have to drive to the doctor, Ed says. You can be to the doctor in three or four minutes, and then you just walk across the hall and get your prescription. A pharmacy is also located conveniently on campus.

Team committed to your good health

Fox Run s dedicated physicians work together with a team of medical professionals that includes certified physician assistants and nurse practitioners, a clinical specialist in gerontological nursing, a podiatrist, several medical assistants, and a practice manager. In addition to the full-time staff, Fox Run has contracted with other medical professionals, including dentists, audiologists, ophthalmologists, cardiologists, and optometrists, who provide on-site care to residents as needed. Anything you can think of to make health care more convenient, we ve got it here, Ed says. Bill Moran, a retired educator from Dearborn, moved to Fox Run in 2004. He says Fox Run s medical staff all work together to ensure that the patient has a seamless experience every time. Suneja and Uthamarajan communicate frequently, and Bill says they are both up to date on the status of his health. And if you have an emergency or even a simple question, they are never more than a phone call away. After they have left for the day, there is always one of the two doctors on call, Bill says. So when I ve needed some assistance in the evening, I could call and get it. When Fox Run residents need to see a specialist, Suneja and Uthamarajan not only refer them to trusted physicians, but they also continue to be involved with that person s treatment plan. If you are seeing another specialist outside the premises, they would want to know what is happening, Bill says. The knowledge of everything that is happening in my medical life is stored here at Fox Run. Of course it s not just experience, availability, and proficiency that add up to excellent medical care. In many cases, it s a health care provider s bedside manner that makes the biggest difference. In that area, Bill says Suneja and Uthamarajan and their entire team exceed expectations. They do this with humanness, humor, and good communication, Bill says. They are very genuine.