CareSTL Health offers therapy, accommodation in the Greater Ville

CareSTL Health plans to open a health clinic and provide housing for low-income people and senior housing for residents of the Greater Ville area.

The $25 million Ville Wellness Campus, scheduled to open next year, will focus on physical, occupational and behavioral health therapy. Clinic administrators say the therapies will help reduce opioid abuse and overdoses in North St. to decrease Louis.

People in the area suffer from many health conditions and need physical and mental care, said Angela Clabon, CEO of CareSTL Health.

“[We’re] Creating a place where the entire community learns how to feel good. And that means having a safe place to be, that means having health care, that means addressing social determinants, housing, all those things.”

The center will be located at the corner of St. Louis Avenue and North Newstead Avenue. It will include a drive-through pharmacy, chiropractic and behavioral health services, community center, auditorium, on-site park and trail, commercial kitchen and classrooms.

The 45,000-square-foot building will also house the clinic’s administrative offices. Clabon also plans to develop 120 senior and low-income housing units for residents in the area who need affordable housing.

Angela Clabon, CEO of CareSTL Health, is standing on the site of the new Ville Wellness Campus in early May. She said the center will help prevent people in the community from traveling from the neighborhood to receive specialized health services.

CareSTL Health plans to partner with Washington University Medical Center and Christian Hospital to provide occupational, behavioral and physical therapy to area residents.

According to Clabon, physical therapy and chiropractic care can serve as alternatives to medication and help reduce the number of opioid overdoses in North St. to decrease Louis.

“When people have to take pain medication instead of dealing with the problem, it leads to difficult drug choices,” Clabon said. “Our focus is to truly fight the opioid epidemic … by bringing pain management services to our community.”

Clabon also plans to make more behavioral health services available to residents by increasing the number of therapeutic professionals in the area, which she hopes will encourage people in the predominantly black community to seek counseling for pain or grief, instead of dealing with it quietly.

Black people in the area often try to get by without mental health therapy, said Summer Johnson, director of behavioral health at CareSTL Health.

“I know I see a range of behaviors in the community, whether it’s shooting, whether it’s people feeling down on themselves, where they just don’t feel like they’re anybody,” she said. “We’re just planting a seed in the environment to let them know, ‘Yes, you can absolutely overcome what you’re experiencing right now’.”

Johnson said that pairing physical or occupational therapy with behavioral therapy can help people recover from emotional and physical trauma that may be related to gun violence or an accident.

“When we all come together and work together to treat the person that will make that person be more successful,” Johnson said.

Clabon plans to retain the clinic’s location in Whitter, which is a few blocks northwest of the new campus, and use it for day care services for the elderly or an expanded behavioral health clinic.

The wellness campus will create 53 jobs and offer 24-hour security.

“We want to help them change their lifestyle, look at their lives differently, extend their lives so they have as much chance of being well as maybe the same patient in West County,” Johnson said.

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