Dr. Patricia Wells of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Pediatric Emergency Center has been named medical director for the Corner Health Center. Dr. Wells replaces Dr. Melisa Oca who has served as interim medical director for the past year while the search for this position was conducted.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Wells join the Corner team,” stated Versell Smith, Jr., Executive Director of the Corner. “She brings a body of exceptional medical experience and a deep commitment to the health of young people that will assure we are providing the best standard of care to our patients and the community.”
As part of her duties at the Corner, Dr. Wells will provide direction to the 2020-2023 Corner Strategic Plan for medical program stability, growth and innovation. Dr. Oca will continue to assist at the Corner for the next few months during the transition. “We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Oca for the leadership and guidance she has given the Corner for the past year,” stated Smith.
“I am thrilled to join the Corner Team,” says Dr. Wells. “The entire staff – medical, behavioral health, programming and administration – are deeply committed to providing the care and support our patients deserve.”
Dr. Wells was born and raised in Detroit, and studied Education and Zoology at Michigan State University. After college, she spent three years serving in the Peace Corps in the Republic of Palau working in marine fisheries and teaching middle school. It was the serious illness of a friend that ultimately changed her path from marine biology to medicine. On returning to the U.S., she worked in HIV epidemiology for the Minnesota Department of Health, then attended medical school at Wayne State University School of Medicine. There she coordinated a program which sent medical students into classrooms in Detroit Public Schools to teach about STI and HIV prevention. She completed a dual residency in Internal Medicin and pediatrics (MedPeds) at the Detroit Medical Center.
Initially in a private practice in Detroit, she joined the Pediatric Emergency Center at St. Joseph Mercy when she moved to the Ann Arbor area. Here she has continued her community involvement through leading youth organizations, her service on Washtenaw County’s Child Fatality Review Team, The Sexual Health Education Advisory Committee for Ann Arbor Public Schools, as well as various hospital committees. She enjoys teaching residents and medical students, and is passionate about providing exceptional care to every patient.
The Corner Health Center’s mission is to provide judgment-free, high-quality, affordable health services to young people aged 12 through 25 and their children. We have provided comprehensive health services to youth in the community since 1981.
The Corner offers a full range of health care, mental health and supportive services for young people regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. The staff consists of clinicians, nurses, social workers, health educators, and medical assistants, as well as a robust group of volunteers. Physicians and residents from the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital (SJMH) work in our clinic providing comprehensive services including primary care, obstetrics and gynecology and psychiatry care to Corner patients. About 80% of our population lives in Washtenaw County, but the Corner provides care to youth throughout southeast Michigan.