|Faces of MI Health Centers: David J. O’Connor|
David J. O’Connor
Board Member | Cassopolis Family Clinic | Cassopolis, MI
Throughout my work career in Nursing and later in Hospital Administration I observed the problems with access to primary care services for those patients who are unable to pay for such care. Constriction of reimbursement rates for physicians forced many doctors to eliminate no-pay and low-pay patients from their practices, which only increases the access shortage for patients unable to pay for their care. As a manager my areas of charge included two indigent client clinics. We were able to gain Rural Health Clinic status at one and FQHC Look-Alike status for the other. These designations helped to open access to primary medical care for patients unable to pay for such care.
When I retired, I jumped at the chance to volunteer as a board member for a Health Center. In this role I am able to continue to help plan for ways in which we may not only continue to provide access to primary medical care, but to expand this access to more patients. As we provide these primary care services, we become acutely aware that referral sources necessary to provide specialty medical services to some of our patients are woefully inadequate, as few, if any specialty physicians are willing to care for these patients.
I look forward to working to find answers to specialty access. I am also aware that we must actively plan to develop methods to generate other sources of income that help to support the mission of the Health Center during time of reductions in government support for these efforts. I look forward to trying to help address these issues as a volunteer board member.
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value of Health Centers and how they benefit patients, families, and
communities, and what they mean to board members, providers, staff, and
volunteers. MPCA invites you to share how the Health Center in your
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Please complete the form below, or you may email your story. We also welcome your photos, a video or audio recording, and typed and handwritten testimonials (mail to MPCA: Faces of MI Health Centers, 7215 Westshire Drive, Lansing, MI 48917). If you need assistance with audio or video recording, please let us know.