Johnnie is a retired 67-yearold who resides at Mercy Housing’s The Atrium at Collegetown in Atlanta. Every Monday, Dr. Ayanna Buckner from Morehouse School of Medicine stops by Johnnie’s home for a check-up. On one particular cold, December Monday, Dr. Buckner noted something of concern to her during her routine health check.
“Dr. Buckner advised me to go visit the property’s onsite Wellness Center, staffed in collaboration with the Morehouse School of Medicine,” said Johnnie.
He took her advice and following a more in-depth consultation, Johnnie was given some unsettling news. His blood pressure was dangerously high, and on the advice of Dr. Bucker, Johnnie scheduled an appointment with his primary care physician for the following morning.
“My doctor told me my blood pressure was so high, I was in danger of having a stroke,” said Johnnie. “I was shocked. It was really scary.”
Jenifer Williams, Resident Services Coordinator at the Atrium at Collegetown, remembers that experience well.
“I think my mouth probably fell open from shock,” exclaimed Williams. “Mr. Dickerson started sobbing and thanking all of us for saving his life. I explained to him that he saved his own life because he took the necessary steps to address his health issue right away. He thanked me for the work we do here at the Atrium. I must admit, it was a very moving experience for me and it reminded me of how and why we do the work we do.”
Today, Johnnie is still a faithful participant in Dr. Buckner’s weekly visits and a key leader in the Atrium community as a floor monitor. He conducts weekly resident wellbeing checks, reports any concerns on his floor and passes out monthly communications to other residents.
“Mr. Dickerson is such a gentle spirit and anything he expresses comes truly from his heart,” said Williams.
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