Dr. MAxwell

Dr. Crystal A. Smith Maxwell stands in front of the entrance to her practice, Light Family Wellness in Indian Land. It is the only direct primary care model in Lancaster County.

Do you remember the 1960s-70s TV series, “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” featuring a family practitioner with such a kind bedside manner? He called many patients by their first names and made some house calls. Can you imagine that relationship existing in 2022?

Meet Dr. Crystal A. Smith Maxwell, founder and CEO of Light Family Wellness in Indian Land. Her practice is the only direct primary care (DPC) model in Lancaster County. What exactly is direct primary care? It’s a practice and payment model where patients pay their physician or practice directly through periodic payments for a defined set of primary care services. It doesn’t involve insurance.

“After practicing for 10 years within the traditional medical model in Chesterfield County, I knew I wanted to serve my patients in a different way. I am very educationally oriented. My goal is to have 500-600 patients, as compared to 1,000 in a traditional setting,” Maxwell said.

She opened her office at 2021 Bridge Mill Drive, Suite 102, with a ribbon-cutting Jan. 29, 2021, and started seeing patients in February 2021, during the COVID pandemic.

As I conversed with Maxwell, the atmosphere of her office and her demeanor confirmed her medical philosophy. I did not feel rushed; she was attentive. And the décor of her office was calming. I think I could have drifted into a meditation.

Light Family Wellness offers individualized plans tailored to meet a patient’s needs. There is a one-time enrollment fee, ranging from $100-$200, and the monthly fee is determined by one’s age, ranging from $70 to $90. Services include unlimited visits, 30-60 minute sessions, discounted labs and no surprise billing. In addition to primary care, Maxwell also provides individualized health and weight-loss coaching.

Like the fictional Dr. Welby, accessibility is key for Maxwell. Her patients can contact her via cell phone after hours, and she is very responsive and timely. Because of the time she is able to give to her patients, she acquires information that is very helpful in their treatment. A long-term patient of nine years was able, eventually, to share critical information that impacted her care, because of the trusting relationship they had developed.

“It’s been very rewarding to see the importance of accessibility,” she said.

Maxwell is very much aware of the importance of family time and self-care, even for herself. Therefore, her office hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Can you believe she serves as her own receptionist and has no office staff?

Maxwell received her medical degree from the University of Tennessee, Health Science College of Medicine, completed a family medicine residency at UT, completed a physician executive MBA program at Auburn University in Alabama, and completed her undergraduate degree at Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Her attentive care is also obvious in her family relationships with her husband, the Rev. Dr. Carleton Maxwell, and 10-year-old daughter, Caitlyn. What more validation does Maxwell need to confirm the rewards of her direct primary care profession than hearing her daughter tell her, “One day I will take this over.”

Maxwell’s passion for providing health care does not end with her office hours. She serves on the S.C. Mental Health Commission and HOPE in Lancaster Board of Directors. She is health committee chairman for her Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. chapter in Rock Hill and healthcare ministry coordinator at Freedom Temple Ministry.

She provides videos and social media health-care posts, and has a special interest in working with the Heart Association and providing diabetes education.

Welcome to Lancaster County, Dr. Maxwell. Thank you for establishing focused direct patient care as a priority.

For more information, call 704-594-1140 or explore the website, www.lightfamilywellness.com.

Dr. Zora S. Denson is Heath Springs director of community relations. Verta W. Looper is a retired mental health licensed professional counselor.

Dr. Zora S. Denson is Heath Springs director of community relations. Verta W. Looper is a retired mental health licensed professional counselor.

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