Re-Thinking Community Care from the Ground Up

Sripathy (Sri) Umapathi, DC, MHS ’17 is the founding Medical Director of St. Paul Wellness Center, a brand-new project of Minnesota Community Care opening this fall.   

The Center is part of the Fairview Community Health and Wellness Hub: a one-stop location for services and resources focused on accessible, affordable, and equitable healthcare, while addressing social determinants of health.    

At the Wellness Center, Dr. Umapathi and his team are completely rethinking what primary care looks like. Patients’ visits will be led by an expert who is not a traditional medical provider: a nutritionist, behavioral health staff, social worker, or RN, supported by a medical provider and when appropriate by a chiropractor. “We’re really trying to see what the patient needs and take away the hierarchy of care that exists right now,” explained Dr. Umapathi. “We want this to be an equal relationship between the patient and their healthcare team.” 

Dr. Umapathi is the first chiropractor to be a Medical Director at Minnesota Community Care: the state’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). He feels his training in chiropractic brings an important perspective to the work. “Chiropractors have been talking about wellness for ages, it’s in my DNA.” said Dr. Umapathi. “People are starting to realize that social determinants of health matter, that everything is connected. Healthcare starts with food. Healthcare starts with shelter.”