Detroit Community Health Connection (DCHC), a Joint Commission certified organization, is Detroit’s second oldest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) now in its 23rd year of operation in Detroit’s inner-city. Its services include OB/GYN; Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine; Family Practice; Internal and Geriatric Medicine; HIV/AIDS care; Dental Services; Pharmacy; Urgent-Care, ancillary and enabling services. It is committed to providing affordable, quality care to all members of the community it serves. The proposed project will allow DCHC to build an addition providing additional clinical and administrative space; to improved operational efficiencies; to replace an aging roof and outdated HVAC system, and to convert its lighting system to meet current energy standards. The purpose of the expansion is to provide adequate space and efficiencies to increase operational capability to provide access to meet unmet need for primary healthcare by the area’s underserved population.
Meeting Community Need, Increasing Access, Expanding Services
Detroit’s population has declined 25% in the last decade leaving behind those in economically depressed areas who cannot afford to move. The median Detroit household income is $28,357. The Detroit infant mortality rate, a sentinel health indicator, is 14.8/1,000; nearly double that of the State of Michigan’s 7.6/1,000. Detroit’s mortality rate due to heart disease of 285.5 is also significantly higher (+23%) than Michigan’s rate of 231.1. Access to comprehensive primary care is limited. Since 2005, five hospitals have closed, 20 primary care clinics have closed, and over 60% of the primary care providers have left Detroit. This proposed expansion in the central Woodward Corridor of Detroit will provide access to quality, comprehensive primary care for over 1,300 new patients (>5,000 visits).
Reaching Special Populations
DCHC’s Woodward Corridor service area has a large minority population with heightened health care needs. The Woodward Corridor Family Medical Center is located in zip code 48201 with a population of 12,201 of which 72% are low income. It also has a large minority population: 70% African American, 19.7% white; 6.1% Asian, 0.6% American Indian, 1.9% Hispanic. In fact, DCHC’s patient population has greater minority representation; 84% of which are African American. In fact, the Woodward Corridor Family Medical Center draws patients from six Detroit zip codes with similar low income and high minority representation rates.
In view of the broad range of community needs in the central city of Detroit, DCHC’s strategy to improve outcomes in the community is to provide a system of comprehensive, quality primary care, well beyond the scope of most primary care providers. Its services include: urgent medical care; preventive & wellness care; well-baby/child examination; OB/GYN services; diagnostic laboratory; health education including nutritional education; behavioral health services; oral health services; translation, case management, eligibility assistance and other enabling services. The immediate action items of the strategic plan include:
- Decrease the current ratio of patients to caregivers (increase the number of providers)
- Increase medical and dental team productivity
- Increase the percentage of children with appropriate immunizations (Target: ages 19 months but not yet 36 months)
- Increase the percentage of women who have an annual Pap smear
- Provide care for an increased number of patients including HIV/AIDS patients
- Increase the percentage of HIV/AIDS clients receiving an annual oral examination
Program Innovation / Model of Delivery
Being a Federally Qualified Health Center, DCHC 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
The following organizations are among those with which DCHC collaborates in its propose service area to fulfill its mission:
- Mariner’s Inn – Detroit Healthcare for the Homeless
- Children’s Dental Center – Main – Detroit Healthcare for the Homeless
- University Health Center (FQHC Look-Alike)
- Waller Health Center – Detroit Healthcare for the Homeless
- Salvation Army – Fort Street – Detroit Healthcare for the Homeless
- Covenant Community Care, Inc.
- Gateway Medical Center
- Community Health & Social Services (CHASS)
- Herman Keifer/Detroit Health & Wellness Promotion Department – Detroit Healthcare for the Homeless, WIC, HIV etc.
DCHC also participates in planning and joint action with:
- Detroit Wayne County Health Authority
- The Primary Care Network Council
- The FQHC Council of SE MI
- Voices of Detroit Initiative (VODI), including the Beacon Community
- Michigan Primary Care Association
The mission of an FQHC is to care for the underserved; particularly the poor, medically underserved and uninsured, Medicaid beneficiaries and recipients of public benefit programs. Because this is an excellent model to respond to area needs, the Detroit-Wayne County Health Authority entered into an agreement with the Michigan Primary Care Association to work collaboratively with the Primary Care Network Council (PCNC) to develop a plan of to expand FQHC services in the region. The PCNC established a Safety Net Expansion Work Group and a Work Force Work Group to develop recommendations for the plan.
- Establishment a set of principles to encourage cooperation in a transparent process of primary care service development
- Locations be considered for the development of new FQHC delivery sites, or "access points”
- Reviewed data and the geographic distribution of services
- Identified and ranked specific geographic areas of very high need
- Placed under consideration areas of potential new access point development based upon geographic distribution and convenient to underserved populations (improving Access to Quality Care, Michigan Primary Care Association)
Innovation in Design
DCHC will utilize sustainable design principles when applicable to the design and construction, including the use of low impact materials, ensuring energy efficiency and maximizing recycling capabilities. Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) and Energy Star. The proposed alterations/upgrades are designed to improve energy performance, indoor air quality and utilize materials that are environmentally friendly. Supplemental high-performance, energy efficient HVAC systems will conserve energy and provide for the comfort of our patients, staff and visitors. Bathrooms and lunchroom plumbing fixtures will be replaced with high efficiency fixtures that will conserve water. Toilets will be replaced with Eco friendly ones.
Impact on Social Determinants of Health
- Integration with, contribution to community development: Through its participation in the FQHC Council of SE Michigan, DCHC is engaged in the Woodward Corridor Initiative; a major community development initiative in the City of Detroit, including housing and business development.
- Contribution to job creation: As reported in the economic impact analysis, DCHC and this project contribute to jobs and the local economy.
- Increased access to healthy food: Nutritional education services provided by DCHC include information on the availability of healthy food as well as the need for planning for nutritious menus.
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Woodward Corridor Family Medical Center
611 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48201
(on Cathedral Green)
Wayne Bradley Sr.
President & CEO
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
1,485 sq. ft.