Access to Care Update: A Review of How Nine Michigan Health Care Organizations Are Using Federal Funding to Increase Access to Care Across the State

As reported by MPCA in November 2013, nine health care organizations in Michigan were among 236 organizations nationwide to be awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support new Health Center sites. Given a 120-day timeline to complete and operationalize the new Health Centers, staff at those organizations have worked tirelessly to open the doors of the new facilities. Michigan Health Centers are currently health care homes for over 600,000 adults and children at more than 230 sites statewide. These new Health Centers will serve as a source of high-quality, affordable primary and preventive medical, dental, and behavioral health care for an estimated additional 42,210 Michiganders.

Six of the nine Michigan organizations receiving funding are already Health Centers—Cassopolis Family Clinic, Cherry Street Health Services, Covenant Community Care, Health Delivery Inc., Traverse Health Clinic, and Western Wayne Family Health Centers. Three of the nine Michigan organizations are community-based providers of primary and preventive health care but have not received funding under the Health Center Program before: Community Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services of St. Joseph County, Detroit Central City Community Mental Health, and MyCare Health Center in Macomb County. For many residents in these communities, the nearest provider is either miles away or too expensive.

Below is a summary of how each of the nine Michigan organizations is using the funding it was awarded to open a new Health Center to connect their neighbors with the health care they need.

Cassopolis Family Clinic Network was awarded $650,000 in New Access Point funding to help support the medically underserved in Southeast Berrien County by establishing the Niles Community Health Center. The new facility is located at 24 North Saint Joseph Ave. Suite G, in Niles across from Niles Community Hospital. The new site, which opened February 24, is receiving new patients with a projection of serving an additional 3,600 community residents.

Cherry Street Health Services operates a network of more than 20 Health Centers throughout Kent, Montcalm, and Ionia counties. It was awarded $858,333 to operate the Barry Community Health Center, located within the Barry-Eaton District Health Department in Hasting, Michigan. The new site located at 330 W. Woodlawn in Hastings opened on February 3, and is expected to serve an additional 3,700 Barry County residents with primary medical, dental, and behavioral health services.

Community Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services of St. Joseph County was awarded $812,500 to expand services to provide primary and preventive medical care, in addition to the comprehensive behavioral health care and substance abuse services it has provided St. Joseph County residents for more than 30 years. The new full-service Health Center located at 677 E. Main St. in Centreville, opened February 26. Patient navigators and community health works help connect at-risk individuals to needed services.

Covenant Community Care received $650,000 to increase the capacity of its network of Health Centers, which includes a school-based Health Center and a mobile community-based dental program, by opening an additional site in west Detroit. In collaboration with Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation (JSCDC), Covenant Community Care opened its sixth Health Center at the current location of JSCDC’s free clinic at 18917 Joy Road in Detroit on February 17. An estimated 7,500 additional primary medical, dental, and behavioral health care visits from residents in the west-side of Detroit is expected in the first year at the new Health Center site.

Detroit Central City Community Mental Health received $793,500 in funding to expand its services to include primary and preventive health care to meet the complex needs of Mid-town Detroit. Having provided comprehensive behavioral health care services for more than 40 years, Detroit Central City Health Center will be able to serve an additional 3,500 local residents. The new integrated Health Center provides primary medical, dental, and behavioral health care for all ages, including complete health care for the entire family such as health screenings, well-child visits, OB/GYN, pediatric and adolescent medicine, internal and geriatric medicine, HIV/AIDS care, physicals, care for chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure. Detroit Central City Health Center opened the first week of March. Its location at 3427 Woodward Ave. in Mid-town Detroit provides easy access to bus routes.

Health Delivery, Inc. (HDI), a Saginaw-based Federally Qualified Health Center network that has operated Health Centers throughout Mid-Michigan for the past 40 years, was awarded $858,333 in new funding to open the first two Health Center sites in the Huron County Thumb Area of Michigan. The Thumb Area Community Health Center, located at 1080 S. Van Dyke Rd. in Bad Axe on the Huron Medical Center campus, opened its doors on February 24. HDI’s Behavioral Health Primary Care Center, located at 1108 S Van Dyke Rd. also in Bad Axe, opened on March 3. Additionally, a portion of the funding was used to expand dental services and extend hours at HDI’s sites in Shiawassee County.

MyCare Health Center, a collaboration of safety net providers to meet the primary health care needs of the most vulnerable residents of Macomb County, received $866,667 in funding to support five Health Center sites. MyCare Health Center will serve approximately 4,000 additional Macomb County residents sites in Center Line, Mount Clemens, Clinton Township (2), and Madison Heights. Through a network of referral providers, MyCare Health Center will enhance the primary care services it offers onsite to increase access to obstetrics/gynecology, oral health, and behavioral health services. Additionally, two MyCare sites have fully integrated behavioral health and primary care services.

Traverse Health Clinic, a major community-based provider serving Traverse City and surrounding areas, has provided access to health care services since the mid-1970s. Originally a free clinic, the organization was certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Look-Alike in fall of 2013. Soon after, Traverse Health Clinic received $866,667 in funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration to transition to a Health Center Program grantee. The additional funding will enable Traverse Health Clinic to care for increased numbers of people, providing comprehensive primary and preventive medical, dental, and behavioral health care services at its facility located at 3155 Logan Valley Rd. in Traverse City, Michigan.

Western Wayne Family Health Centers (WWFHC) was awarded $145,070 to open its third Health Center site on March 5. Serving Lincoln Park, River Rouge, Ecorse, and the surrounding areas, WWFHC’s new Health Center will serve an additional 5,550 patients by providing much needed access to primary medical, dental, and behavioral health care, as well as pharmacy services. It is located at 25650 W. Outer Dr. in Lincoln Park.

MPCA applauds the hard work of these organizations in finalizing and executing their respective projects in the midst of the most transformative time in health care policy in recent history. We look forward to many years of collaborating with each of the organizations to continue the mission of promoting, supporting, and developing comprehensive, accessible, and affordable community-based health care services for everyone in Michigan.

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