Michigan Community Health Center Providers, Staff, Board Members Honored for Commitment, Distinguished Service

 On September 29, Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) honored exemplary colleagues at its 30thAnnual Awards Luncheon, which took place during the 2009 MPCA Annual Conference held at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The annual Awards Luncheon is an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the commitment, dedication, and outstanding service of Michigan Community Health Center providers, staff, and board members. MPCA is proud to announce the 2009 MPCA Annual Awards recipients.

 Ralph C. Mills Board Member of the Year
Jerry Golimbieski, Sterling Area Health Center
Jerry served on the Sterling Area Health Center Board of Directors from 2000 until his death this past week.  He was a tireless advocate for the Center and its patients, a well-respected member of the community, and an expert business man.  “Jerry was such a community-minded, giving person—he will be deeply missed,” said Roger Rushlow, Executive Director, Sterling Area Health Center.

Cindy Cooley Nursing Leadership Award
Claudette Rashotte, LPN, Nurse Manager and Performance Improvement Coordinator, Sterling Area Health Center
Claudette has performed admirably in this dual role since 1997, proving instrumental to the Center earning such recognition as the Governors Award for Excellence in Primary Care and the recent Blue Cross Blue Shield Patient Centered Medical Home.

Advocate of the Year
Gwen Williams, Director of Community Services, Muskegon Family Care
Gwen is an all-encompassing advocate, raising the visibility of Michigan Community Health Centers by educating elected officials, the media, the general public, and funding partners in her varied roles at Muskegon Family Care.

Distinguished Service Awards

Dale Ernst, Jr., Finance Director, Center for Family Health 
Dale was recognized for his leadership as past vice president and current president of the MPCA Finance Officers Network, improving efficiencies and serving as a mentor.

Linda Juarez, Executive Director, Hackley Community Care Center
Linda has dedicated her career to advocating for the underserved in the greater Muskegon Heights area.  She is innovative, persistent, and passionate while building collaborations that enhance the delivery of health care through Hackley Community Care Center.

Sheri Weglarz, Chief Operations Officer, Hackley Community Care Center
Sheri has great organizational talent and directional skills that are the catalyst for changing vision into reality.  She exemplifies Hackley Community Care Center’s values—integrity, compassion, respect, and quality.

Julie Angers, Finance Director, Sterling Area Health Center
Julie is a 28-year veteran administrative/financial manager who is an integral part of the Center’s leadership team.

Alicia Sanchez and Carlos Sanchez, InterCare Community Health Network
Both Alicia and Carlos have a long history as a migrant farmworker and a migrant health advocate in camps in InterCare Community Health Network’s service area of Allegan, Berrien, Cass, Kent, Ottawa, and VanBuren Counties. They demonstrated exceptional leadership during the novel H1N1 flu outbreak earlier this year.

Dana Arnold, Front Office Supervisor and Dental Program Coordinator, Thunder Bay Community Health Service
Dana balances the needs of the team with her individual responsibilities while keeping patient needs foremost.

Clinical and Information Technology Leadership Staff, Center for Family Health
Sara Benedetto, Greg Naylor, Kim Hinkle, Michelle Caryl, Sheryl McCormick, Laura Dowling, Charisse Green, Pete May, Michelle Mayo, and Nilda Ward have demonstrated incredible grace under pressure, creativity, and resiliency throughout a two-year practice management and electronic medical records systems implementation that is part of a community-wide initiative.

Today, 32 Community Health Centers provide quality, comprehensive, community-based, culturally oriented primary health care for over half a million individuals at 160 delivery sites across the state. Each Health Center’s services are tailored to meet the unique needs of their patients and surrounding communities, and are governed by a patient-majority board of directors.

To find a Community Health Center near you, go to www.mpca.net.

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