Durham, N.C. — A packed parking lot is a daily sight at Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham, which for half a century has been trying to provide the city’s neediest residents with the health care many others take for granted.
“We’re always busy, yes,” said Dr. Howard Eisenson, Lincoln’s chief medical officer. “There’s a great deal of demand for our services, and it’s good that we’re here.”
Started when what is now Duke Regional Hospital opened to replace two segregated hospitals – whites-only Watts Hospital and Lincoln Hospital for Black residents – the health center on Fayetteville Street provides an option for people without transportation to obtain care in their neighborhood.
Lincoln sees about 35,000 patients a year, “probably in the neighborhood of 140,000 patient visits a year,” Eisenson said.
The center provides a range of medical services for both children and