Barry Community Health Center
Cherry Street Health Services (CSHS) opened the Barry Community Health Center in February 2014, at the site of the Barry County Health Department’s previous Health Connections clinic (330 W. Woodlawn Ave, Hastings). At the Health Department’s request, CSHS stepped in to provide expanded primary care services (medical, dental, and behavioral health) in the county when Health Connections closed due to loss of funding. Barry County is a medically underserved area. Projections indicate that by the end of the first year, the Health Center will have outgrown the facility’s existing capacity. The provision of dental services on-site is currently not possible, and expansion is not an option. CSHS has identified 12,000 square feet of space at the former Felpausch Food Center corporate headquarters nearby, which will allow medical, dental, and behavioral health services to be integrated in one location. The proposed facility is an integral part of the City’s multi-site downtown redevelopment plan.
Organization’s Brief History, Special Characteristics
CSHS is an independent, non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center with a primary focus of providing high quality health services to those who have little or no access to health care, regardless of income or insurance status. Services provided by CSHS include primary care, women’s health, dental, vision, pharmacy, behavioral/mental health, correctional health, four School-Based Health Centers, and employee assistance for employers.
Established in 1988, CSHS is the largest FQHC in Michigan with services in Barry, Kent, Montcalm, and Wayne counties; providing integrated health care services at more than 20 locations. CSHS employs over 800 individuals, including more than 60 physicians and mid-level providers specializing in primary care/family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, optometry, and psychiatry. Additionally, CSHS operates a school-linked program active in 70 public schools offering both vision and dental care.
In 2011, CSHS merged with Touchstone innovaré (the county’s largest provider of behavioral health services for adults) and Proaction Behavioral Health Alliance (an array of services that assists individuals with addiction and recovery issues with rebuilding their lives). With the merger of the three organizations, CSHS addresses behavioral/mental health and correctional health.
- Location: Barry Community Health Center, 127 S. Michigan Ave., Hastings, MI 49508
- Contact: Sharon Barton, Director of Development 616.965.8217
- Project Cost: $1.2-$2 million
- Size: 12,000 sq. ft.; 1 floor
- Start Date: January 1, 2015
- Expected Completion: April 2015
Meeting Community Need, Increasing Access, Expanding Services
The Barry Community Health Center serves rural and low-income residents of Hastings, Michigan, and the surrounding communities. A 2013 Barry County physician survey indicated a service population of 47,451 served by 16 FTE primary care physicians—a population to physician ratio of 2,966:1, or about half the physicians needed for the low-income population. The physicians provide 0.39 FTE of service to Medicaid patients and approximately 0.25 FTE in contributions of free or discounted care. With a low-income population (<200% of FPL) of 13,678, this is a ratio of 14,551:1—an extreme shortage of physicians for the low-income residents. Some residents must travel nearly 30 miles to the nearest FQHC or safety net provider for care.
Reaching Special Populations
CSHS is working with the county school districts and community organizations to identify ways in which it can connect students in need of services with the Health Center.
Patient data from the Hastings site will be incorporated into Cherry Street Health Care’s ongoing quality program monitoring all federally required Clinical Performance Measures.
Program Innovation / Model of Delivery
Barry Community Health Center will offer primary medical, dental, and behavioral health care services.
- Integrated care will be paramount, given the institutionalization of this approach throughout the CSHS' network; integrated care will be particularly important for the homeless community, which is uniquely susceptible to co-morbid disorders
- Dental services will be provided on-site at the Barry Community Health Center
- Behavioral health therapy will be provided on-site by a LMSW through a partnership with Community Mental Health of Barry County
- Access to contracted laboratory and x-ray services are available through Pennock Hospital
- Fees and services are rendered with special consideration for the underinsured and uninsured by providing discounted rates similar to Health Center policies
- A facility manager will oversee this site to ensure that operations are standardized and accessible
- Appointment and open access services will be available every day to facilitate easy access to care
- The Barry Community Health Center and all CSHS locations have access to resources such as 340B medications, assistance with Medicaid applications, and Patient Navigators to assist clients.; translator services are available through Voices for Health
Community Collaboration / Service Integration
CSHS has a positive reputation built on its ability to collaborate with other organizations with like missions, as well as systems of care that provide adjunct services, such as those from the health department, hospitals, and social/behavioral service agencies. A significant outcome of Cherry Street Health Services’ collaborative activity was the merger with Touchstone innovarè and Proaction Behavioral Health Alliance in 2011. The resulting integration of physical, mental, and behavioral health services is significant for the Hastings site.
Cherry Street Health Services’ own AmeriCorps members (Patient Navigators) are specifically trained and prepared to work with patients in identifying, applying for, and facilitating access to the community supports needed to enhance their overall health and well being. The AmeriCorps team works closely with community support organizations to create a bridge for CSHS’ patients in receiving necessary services. CSHS’ Patient Navigators are a critical service delivery link in patients’ access to broad community supports.
A sampling of community organizations that have specifically reinforced their collaborative support for the Barry Community Health Center include:
• Pennock Health
• Barry-Eaton Health Department
• Health Connections Patient and Board Member, Carol E. Dickinson
• Barry Community Free Clinic
• David B. Parker, MD, Hastings Internal Medicine
• Barry Eaton Health Plan
• Barry Eaton Health Plan Patient, Victoria Rick
• Barry Community Foundation
• Barry Intermediate School District
• Barry County Business Health Care Coalition
• Barry County Resource Network
• Barry County Community Mental Health Authority
• J-Ad Graphics (publisher of 9 local newspapers)
• Airway Oxygen
• Michigan Primary Care Association
• State and local representatives
Innovation in Design
Cost effective green materials (renovation and equipment) will be used as they are available.
Impact on Social Determinants of Health
This identified facility location is an integral part of the City of Hastings’ multi-site redevelopment plan for this downtown area, including plans for mixed-use retail space. Relocation of the Barry Community Health Center and the accompanying expansion will allow for the hiring of additional staff, and create an economic multiplier for surrounding retail and services. A possible redevelopment option includes establishing a farmers’ market. A walking path has already been developed.
The economic benefit to the communities CSHS serves is over $50 million.
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