White Cloud Rising

Chatting with Congressman Bill Huizenga, right, are Family Health Care Board President Corey VanFleet, left, and CEO Kathy Sather.

It will be, perhaps, the most distinctive building in the small downtown business section of White Cloud, Michigan.

Located on Wilcox Street, about two blocks west of the M-37 traffic signal, Family Health Care’s 32,000-square-foot Community Health Center stands tall among its neighbors.

U.S. Congressman Bill Huizenga received a close-up view of the new $6 million facility last week, strolling the corridors and treatment areas while chatting with Health Center staff, board members, and community leaders.

He came away impressed with the project’s scope and its potential impact in White Cloud.

“Access to quality health care is essential in our rural areas,” Huizenga said. “I know (from previous experience) the positive impact Community Health Centers have, both on their patients’ health and on the local economy.”

When Family Health Care opens the Health Center’s doors this fall, the array of services and programs offered in one site will be impressive.

The first floor will house medical, x-ray, lab, behavioral health, and pharmacy. The second floor will be home to dental, administrative offices, support services, an employee break area, conference rooms, and exam rooms for specialty clinics.

“Patients will have access to larger exam rooms, comfortable waiting areas, a play area for children, and several advances in technology, such as a robotic prescription dispensing system,” said Kathy Sather, Family Health Care President and CEO.

“This new building represents a great opportunity for our patients and staff, and for the community as a whole,” she said.

Family Health Care’s two current Health Centers in White Cloud – at 126 Benson Street and at 1035 E. Wilcox Street – have aged, are too small, and make it hard for patients to easily take advantage of all available services, Sather said.

“We are committed to providing the White Cloud community with the very best health care – now, and into the future,” Sather said. “This new facility, and our staff, presents us with the resources to do that.”

Construction costs are being paid in part by a combination of federal grants and loans, a $300,000 gift from the Fremont Area Community Foundation matched by a national foundation, and a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A local community fundraising campaign also is underway to match a $100,000 challenge grant from the Fremont Area Community Foundation, Sather said.

The current Wilcox facility will be torn down to make room for patient parking. No decision has been made yet on the disposition of the Benson Street facility.

Family Health Care is one of Michigan’s 32 Community Health Center organizations. Together, they provide care for nearly 600,000 patients at 170 delivery sites each year.  For more information about Family Health Care, go to www.familyhealthcare.org. For more information about Michigan Community Health Centers go to www.mpca.net.


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