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News & Press: MPCA News

MPCA Presents Award to Sen. Proos for Criminal Justice Pilot Program

Tuesday, February 27, 2018  
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Today the Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) presented Sen. John Proos (R–St. Joseph) with the Champion for the Medically Underserved Award. This award, given annually during the MPCA’s Legislative Forum, recognizes leaders for their work in promoting and protecting affordable, quality health care for medically underserved populations in Michigan.


“The justice-involved population is so often overlooked when it comes to access to health care and social services,” said Loretta V. Bush, Chief Executive Officer, MPCA. “Sen. Proos’ willingness to tackle recidivism by funding increased access to care through community partnerships is a step in the right direction.”


Recidivism is one of the primary drivers of increased state General Fund expenses for the state as it relates to the criminal justice-involved population. Research suggests that when returning residents have access to health care and social support services, they may be less likely to reoffend. Sen. Proos worked in conjunction with the MPCA to provide a budget appropriation (Section 406, FY17–18) designed to fund a pilot program to address these complicated issues and help returning residents get and stay healthy.


The pilot program, called Connection to Care, involves facilitated hand-offs from the Michigan Department of Corrections to the MPCA to ensure returning residents are connected to MyCare, a community health center, within seven days of release. At the health center, returning residents have access to medical, dental, behavioral, and substance use disorder services, as well as a health coach with lived experience. The health center also connects the returning resident with appropriate social services, such as Michigan Works! or food services, temporary and permanent supportive housing assistance, or transportation.


“It is truly an honor to receive this award from the Michigan Primary Care Association, which is doing so much to help increase access to comprehensive and affordable health care,” said Proos, (R–St. Joseph). “I am proud of the bipartisan criminal justice reforms that we enacted last year. At the heart of the reforms was a refocus on meaningful rehabilitation. As rehabilitated offenders reenter society, it benefits everyone to ensure that they are able to get coverage for medical care instead of using costly ER services.”

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