Family Health Center, Inc.
Edison Health Center
Family Health Center (FHC-Kalamazoo) presently provides comprehensive, quality health care to over 20,000 patients annually (over 80,000 visits). Services are comprehensive and include family practice, pediatrics, internal medicine, OB/GYN, walk-in clinics, on-site laboratory stations, WIC, school-based health programs, homeless care, on-site pharmacies, behavioral health care, dental care, case management, and translation services. FHC-Kalamazoo is a well-developed, mature Health Center that has been providing services to Kalamazoo County since 1971.
The proposed Edison Health Center is planned for the Edison neighborhood of Kalamazoo—the poorest neighborhood in the city. This project is being developed in collaboration with the City of Kalamazoo’s community development of this area. Its intent is to replace a small previously leased facility that was in disrepair and to expand capacity, access, and services; integrate multiple services for the residents of the Edison neighborhood and the south side of Kalamazoo; and increase access to comprehensive, quality primary health care services. The proposed facility will include 15 examination rooms, 3 dental operatories as well as appropriate space for a myriad of health services including chronic disease management and enabling services (see program innovation). This facility will provide efficiencies and increased access by at least 30% to quality, integrated medical, behavioral health, and dental health care for an additional 3,000 patients annually. The project is expected to be completed August 1, 2014—22 months from the start date of October 1, 2012.
Meeting Community Need, Increasing Access, Expanding Services
The Edison Health Center project is appropriately located to respond to the health needs of some of the residents of Kalamazoo’s most densely populated, poorest neighborhood. It increases access to integrated medical, behavioral, and dental health services to 13,000 patients annually; introducing new services including pharmacy and integrated behavioral health care. The project will also enable access through expanded clinic hours and provision of a sliding fee scale program, discounting fees to patients’ ability to pay. Edison Neighborhood is the most economically and socially distressed neighborhood in Kalamazoo, with the highest concentration of Medicaid eligible residents and many lacking insurance. Ten percent of elementary school students are homeless, and 97% of all students qualify for free or reduced price lunches. It has twice the teen birth rate of the city.
Reaching Special Populations
The largest ethnic group in the Edison Neighborhood is Latino. Family Health Center employs bi-lingual and culturally aware staff in the provision of quality care. FHC has also provided care to the area’s homeless population in collaboration with area organizations. As a Health Center, FHC provides care to all regardless of their ability to pay. FHC plans to address the neighborhood’s special needs with culturally appropriate, quality care.
FHC plans to improve outcomes by increasing access and improving health status. It will respond to special needs with programs for diagnoses and conditions challenging the area’s population. It will gather data on such diagnoses as diabetes, and track diabetic HbA1c levels utilizing the HHS HRSA Uniform Data System. Care planning and protocol changes will be initiated/amended in response to data to improve outcomes. Family Health Center has achieved the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission of the Accreditation of Health Organizations. It will continue to provide the highest quality of care to its patients, with particular focus on improving access and outcomes of the medically underserved.
Program Innovation / Model of Delivery
Being a Health Center, FHC employs an innovative model of care. Its board consists of a majority of patient members. It provides care to all regardless of ability to pay. It employs a team-based model of delivery following evidence-based protocols. It provides comprehensive, integrated quality care, with medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, lab and other services on-site, as well as chronic disease management programs with patient self-management assistance and outcomes tracking. It also provides a wide range of enabling services including preventive and primary health care, oral health care, mental health and substance abuse services, pharmacy and enabling services, and accommodation of the obese population with bariatric equipment and protocols. It also provides enabling services such as transportation, outreach, health education, translation and cultural competency, self-management support, and case management.
Community Collaboration / Service Integration
FHC is collaborating with the city’s community redevelopment. FHC’s leadership participates in the city redevelopment planning committees. FHC also participates in neighborhood gentrification with cultural awareness; Loaves & Fishes; the Downtown Tomorrow Corridor Project; and the Vine/Edison Neighborhood Committee.
Innovation in Design
FHC employs LEED certified designers and contractors to integrate a broad range of sustainable design around furniture and furnishings, acoustics (minimizing noise levels and introducing appropriate background sound to mask intruding noise of health care delivery), and other innovations, as appropriate, all of which will improve patient outcomes, staff performance and community engagement.
Impact on Social Determinants of Health
- Increased access to healthy food: FHC plans to work with the adjacent food bank, Loaves & Fishes, the area hospital, and others to provide supplemental learning opportunities in nutrition, food selection, shopping, and preparation. It also plans to encourage the location of a vendor of healthy food in the area in cooperation with the area community development committee.
- Improved neighborhood safety: A safe, secure facility is planned with adjacent parking, appropriate lighting, security cameras, and electronic badge access to restricted areas, contributing to stabilization of the area.
- Integration with, contribution to community development: As noted above, FHC is working with community development committees of the City of Kalamazoo. Its facilities are economic and social anchors of the community.
- Contribution to job creation: Present and planned construction as well as staff expansion contribute to both short and long term employment opportunities.