Edgeville Buzz

New Harken Health Center Opens In Edgewater, Promises a New Approach To Healthcare


Harken Health, a new healthcare and insurance company which is an independently operated subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group is opening at 5244 N. Broadway Ave. in Edgewater. An open house will take place on Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. as well as a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. The company is also opening three other new locations in Chicago: Des Plaines, South Loop and Wicker Park as well as six locations in Atlanta.

Harken, which means ‘to listen to’, is also the goal of the new company which is promising to unite relationship-based primary care with a range of competitively priced insurance plans. The plans can be found as new options during open enrollment on the Federal Online Insurance Marketplace (healthcare.gov) which started Nov. 1, 2015.

Harken plans on selling its services based on a few unique principals including free, unlimited and ‘unfettered’ healthcare at Harken Health Centers. The idea is that when a patient becomes sick, they can reach their healthcare team 24/7 without worrying about how they will pay for it. According to Harken, those care teams are empowered with the time to listen and build authentic, compassionate, trusting relationships with members thus improving the member experience overall.

Harken CEO Tom Vanderheyden said, “Our business model is 100% focused on the experience of the patient. One can expect thoughtful service in a space that is warm and inviting.”

They will also have ‘robust’ primary healthcare where a patient can expect more than the average doctor’s office. They plan to have behavioral specialists embedded within the practice as well as offering free classes such as yoga groups and educational training opportunities.

Vanderheyden said they chose Chicago and Atlanta because they wanted their business model to serve a solid cross-section of the country’s population and both cities were a fantastic place to start. Opening a location here in Edgewater furthered that goal.

Vanderheyden explained, “The community of Edgewater is a perfect fit. It has a large need and opportunity for people to become insured. When we looked at all the neighborhoods in Chicago, we chose communities with populations who needed care and recently entered the insurance marketplace.”

Currently, Harken Health only operates its four new Chicago centers in Cook County with expansion plans possible to other counties in 2016.


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