Veteran Michigan Health Center Leader Retiring After Three Decades of Service

After a 34-year career at Sterling Area Health Center, veteran executive director Roger Rushlow is passing the torch and transitioning into the retirement phase of his life. He joined the Health Center as a health educator when it opened its doors back in the late 1970s, and he was appointed executive director in 1983.

roger rushlow“Roger has been an outstanding leader and genuinely committed to the Health Center and its mission, patients, and staff,” said Kim Sibilsky, Chief Executive Officer, Michigan Primary Care Association. “His depth of knowledge and lasting contributions have earned him tremendous respect from his peers, colleagues, and Michigan Primary Care Association staff.”

Rushlow’s leadership has been instrumental in Sterling Area Health Center’s growth from a mobile unit parked at the local gas station in rural Sterling, Michigan, back in 1979, to the comprehensive health care home that it is today for over 7,300 Michiganders in Arenac and Ogemaw Counties and surrounding areas. Sterling’s network of three Health Center sites offer medical, dental, and behavioral health care services. A team of caring and dedicated staff also provides health insurance eligibility and enrollment assistance, health and wellness education, transportation assistance, and access to emergency care through an after-hours walk-in clinic—all services that help promote the “whole” health of Sterling Area Health Center’s patients and neighbors.

When asked about his years of service, Rushlow reflected, “It has been a great pleasure and honor to work with the patients, volunteers, and staff of Sterling Area Health Center and the other Michigan Community Health Centers. I wish you continued great success in the important mission of providing access to affordable health care.”

Thanks to Rushlow’s tremendous leadership, Sterling Area Health Center is well-positioned to continue that mission. The Health Center has been recognized throughout the years for excellence in care, it is accredited for ambulatory and behavioral health care by the Joint Commission, and it has earned the designation as a Patient Centered Medical Home by the Joint Commission and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

“We thank Roger for the years of guidance he has provided and for his contributions to making Sterling Health Center what it is today,” said Sibilsky.

As the saying goes, “We are not saying goodbye forever, we are saying we will see you later.”


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