For Doctors Vincent and Erika Lubsey, healthcare is a family affair. Father and daughter, Vincent and Erika Lubsey practice and manage the Lubsey Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The clinic, established in 1978 by Dr. Vincent Lubsey, is an out-patient health care facility that is committed to their patients for quality healthcare regardless of income, class, race or insurance status. Dr. Vincent Lubsey, 71, originally from Jamaica, came to America and attended Howard University for his undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as his residency. His daughter, Dr. Erika Lubsey 40, attended medical school at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee and did her residency at Meharry Medical College.
Erika, an ob-gyn and mother of one, indicated that she was primarily interested in the medical field because of her father. “My goal was to work for my dad. He tried to talk me out of it,” she said. Medicine, it can be difficult for a family, there are no regular hours. You have to make real heavy sacrifices,” Her father responded. “I’m glad she didn’t listen to me.”
“I was hoping she would come here,” replied Vincent. “I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but eventually she did come to work with me at the clinic. The clinic is not a solo practice; it employs four medical doctors and six nurse practitioners. The clinic specializes in family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, cardiology, orthopedics, nephrology and neurology.
”Over the years, there has been an erosion of independent African-American healthcare facilities. Lubsey is well established in the community and has thrived and continued to grow in that environment,” said Keith Thomas, marketing consultant for Lubsey Medical Clinic. “Lubsey Medical Clinic tries to create a familial atmosphere where people come, socialize, talk about community events and politics. It’s kind of like a “barbershop of healthcare,” said Thomas. “People are looking for a professional and family oriented healthcare facility. This is what separates Lubsey from larger healthcare institutions in Milwaukee. “Some African-Americans, especially the elderly are intimidated by larger more formal institutions; they won’t seek out health care until they really, really need it.” Thomas added.
Erin Noon-Woodley has been a patient at Lubsey Medical Clinic for 5 years, and is presently a patient of Erika’s. “Dr. Erika is outstanding. She is very hands on, and she spent a lot of time getting to know me as a person,” Noon-Woodley said. “She made me feel very comfortable.” “I could [have] gone to any clinic in Milwaukee that I wanted, because my husband has great insurance, but I chose Lubsey because they are family oriented and take their time with their patients,” Noon-Woodley added. Erika explained, “I try to educate women on their bodies and how their bodies work. The body is an amazing machine that you have to respect and have others respect. I take time with patients to deal with social and emotional issues. When social and emotional issues are dealt with, the medical part comes easy. If your social and financial stress is handled, you can take care of yourself better.”
Later this year, Lubsey Medical Clinic will be branching out, and opening a specialty clinic. The space, dedicated to specialist, will be housed next door to the current clinic. “While Lubsey Medical Clinic will promote the clinic, it will be a separate entity. The specialists will be independent,” explained Thomas. There are many specialists in the area that will not take Medicare or Medicaid, and this clinic of specialists will serve this demographic.” When talking about the care of his patients, Vincent has a clear vision of what he wants for them. “I just want patients to have a place to get the care they need. There are a whole lot of people who are emotionally hurting and are in distress. I do not want people to leave here with questions unanswered,” Vincent said. “I want them to feel comfortable, answer all their questions, and educate them so they can live their best lives. It’s the feeling of them being confident, it’s the feeling of trust that I enjoy most.” “I feel appreciated,” Vincent added. “I get so much more from my patients than they know.”