InterCare Community Health Network Celebrates National Health Center Week by Breaking Ground for New Benton Harbor Health Center

InterCare Community Health Network has a lot to celebrate during National Health Center Week (August 8-14) as it breaks ground on a new state-of-the-art Health Center in Benton Harbor today, August 12 at 4 pm.  The new 40,000 square-foot Health Center will combine InterCare’s two existing sites in this Southwest Michigan city, increasing capacity so more local residents can access more health care services.  It is expected that the demand for services at this Health Center will increase by 35 percent during the next few years. 

Funding for construction of the new Health Center comes in part from an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant.  Community Health Centers such as InterCare were among the first recipients of ARRA funding from the federal government in 2009, which has already enabled them to help 2.9 million more patients gain access to health care.  By 2015, Community Health Centers across the country are projected to be the health care home for 40 million people.

InterCare Community Health Network has been providing quality, comprehensive primary and preventive health care to uninsured individuals and underserved populations in Southwest Michigan for 38 years.  In addition to Benton Harbor, it operates Community/Migrant Health Centers in Bangor, Eau Claire, Holland, Sparta, and Pullman, Michigan.

Governor Granholm visited the Benton Harbor construction site in July, and a representative from Senator Debbie Stabenow’s office will share a message from the Senator at today’s groundbreaking.  Once open, the new facility will recruit medical, dental, and mental health professionals. 

InterCare’s President and CEO, Velma Hendershott, was featured last week during a tele-town hall meeting hosted by the National Association of Community Health Centers to kick off National Health Center Week 2010.  During the meeting, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Health Resources and Services Administration Administrator Mary Wakefield recognized Community Health Centers as increasing access to care, improving health outcomes, reducing health disparities, and containing health care costs.

National Health Center Week celebrations have been taking place in communities across the country since Sunday, August 8.  This weeklong campaign highlights the 45-year record of Health Centers in meeting health care needs regardless of patients’ income or insurance status.  For more information about National Health Center Week visit www.healthcenterweek.org.

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