Center for Family Health Hosts VIP Supporters

The Center for Family Health was host to several VIPs on October 26.  United States Rural Development Authority, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, Congressman Mark Schauer (D-Battle Creek), United States Department of Agriculture State Director James Turner, and Jackson Mayor Karen Dunigan visited the Community Health Center in Jackson as a sign of support for the work of the Center and the construction of its new downtown site.

The new site located in the heart of downtown Jackson is scheduled to open in the summer of 2011.  It will consolidate, under one roof, the Center for Family Health’s comprehensive health care services currently provided at five locations throughout the Jackson area. This will make accessing quality, affordable health care easier for low-income and medically underserved Jackson residents, boost the capacity of the Center so it can meet the increased need for health care, and facilitate the coordination of care.  The ultimate goal is a community of healthy residents.

The 54,000 square foot, three-story building will house more than 60 medical exam rooms, 14 dental operatories, a pharmacy, an on-site diagnostic center for labs and x-rays, a quick-access clinic with nine exam rooms, classrooms for health education training, and an information center for health coverage programs.

The United States Department of Agriculture guaranteed the loan for the new downtown Health Center to facilitate the construction of this essential community asset.  Congressman Schauer helped to assure that Jackson, Michigan, and residents benefitted from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), recognizing the investment in the Jackson community’s health and its economic well-being.  Mayor Dunigan has been a strong supporter of all ARRA projects benefitting the City of Jackson, including the Center for Family Health’s new facility.

In addition to improving the health of the community, the construction of the new site is an economic ‘shot in the arm’ for Jackson.  The construction phase is putting local contractors to work, and, when completed, the Center will bring approximately 160 employees downtown to pay city taxes and frequent local businesses.

The Center for Family Health is one of Michigan’s 31 Community Health Center organizations that together operate over 160 sites across the state, providing care to nearly 600,000 patients each year regardless of insurance status or income.  They are part of a nationwide network of 1,250 Community Health Centers that 20 million people call their health care home.  That number is expected to double within the next five years as $11 billion in funding under the Affordable Care Act is awarded to Health Centers.  Community Health Center services are tailored to meet the unique needs of patients and surrounding communities, providing primary care, dental care, behavioral health care, pharmacy services, and much more.

For more information about the Center for Family Health, go to www.centerforfamilyhealth.org.  To learn more about Michigan Community Health Centers, please visit www.mpca.net.

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