Hamilton Community Health receives nearly $2 million in funding for healthcare expansion in Michigan

Congressman Dan Kildee recently announced new federal funding to help ensure all mid-Michigan families have access to high-quality, affordable health care.

Two of MPCA’s member health centers, Great Lakes Bay Health Centers and Hamilton Community Health Network, received funding to continue delivering comprehensive healthcare services to mid-Michigan families.

“This funding will have a profound impact on Hamilton’s ability to provide accessible health care services to the residents we serve regardless of their ability to pay,” said Clarence R. Pierce, CEO, Hamilton Community Health Network. “Ensuring all residents have access to quality, affordable healthcare services is critical to the health and well-being of our community. We are thankful for Congressman Kildee’s unwavering commitment and support to Community Health Centers, especially those in medically underserved areas.”

Read the full article here.

Michigan effort puts new doctors in front of poor, underserved patients

PONTIAC, MI — Michigan has too few family doctors, limiting access to medical care in a state where residents tend to be older, unhealthier and where not everyone can get the care they need.  Now a solution might be taking shape — at Honor Community Health six doctors-to-be meet to discuss patient care. They are the first six doctors of 18 that will be trained here over the next few years through an unusual residency program that rotates doctors through Honor Community Health’s network of 21 primary health clinics, 11 school health centers, and a specially-outfitted Ford Transit van that travels around treating homeless patients.

To read the full story, please visit the Bridge Michigan website.

Family Medical Center of Michigan named Hypertension Control Champions

TEMPERANCE, MI – Congratulations to Family Medical Center of Michigan in Temperance, Michigan for being named Hypertension Control Champions by Million Hearts!

Family Medical Center of Michigan is being recognized for demonstrating their unwavering dedication to help their patients with hypertension manage their blood pressure – achieving a hypertension control rate of at least 80%.

“Family Medical Center of Michigan has been on its journey for four years to improve care to patients suffering from hypertension,” says CEO, Ed Larkins, “We were looking at our quality measures in relationship to other health centers and we were in the middle of the pack for hypertension care.  We decided that  we needed to do better ,not only for FMC but more importantly for our patients. Our Board of Directors, the Executive team and clinical leadership all  made a commitment that we were going to work to improve care to our hypertension patients and be the best we could be.”

Larkins adds, “We are very proud of this achievement, and that it goes to the heart of what we are about as organization – that is to provide the best care possible to our patients.”

Medical Director, Dr. Roshani Jadai says, “As Family Medical Center’s mission states, we are dedicated to quality and excellence in providing integrated comprehensive cost-effective care. It is our privilege to serve our local rural communities. We are truly honored to receive the designation as a 2023 Million Hearts hypertension Controlled Champion and reflects on the passionate commitment of our providers and staff in healing others.”

Family Medical Center has over 18,000 enrollees and more than 4100 patients with hypertension. It is designated as a rural community health center serving communities in Monroe County and Lenawee County in southeastern Michigan. Almost 79% of the patients treated by Family Medical Center are on Medicaid or Medicare.

Michigan Primary Care Association applauds Family Medical Center of Michigan on this tremendous achievement.

Read the full list of Hypertension Control Champions here.

Family Medical Center of Michigan: Daughter Follows Father into Career of Medicine

TEMPERANCE, Mich. – Ten years ago, Authority Health launched its teaching health center and recruited community physicians willing to serve as preceptors for incoming residents. Dr. Sin Ching Chiu, who worked at Family Health Center on Lewis Avenue, enjoyed teaching and thought it would be mutually beneficial to have residents working under his direction.

“I thought it would be a good idea for us to precept family practice residents,” Chiu said in a written statement. “In our area, there are lot of interesting cases that they can learn from.”

Chiu learned that firsthand as a third-year family practice resident in a rural health rotation at the Family Health Center.

He said it wasn’t the diseases that challenged him, but the underlying factors that influenced patients – known today as the “social determinants of health.” It’s a “really challenging, difficult environment” because of this.

Currently serving as medical director of Family Health Center, Chiu likes teaching because he learns new ideas coming out of medical school while sharing techniques he has developed in practice.

When working with residents, Chiu will advise them “to look at the whole well-being of the person.”

“It’s not just the physical being. It’s the underlying medical and economic situation. If you understand their background, then you can understand why there is a pathological disease,” he said.

He offered the same instruction to one of his three daughters, Nathaline Chiu, who decided to carry on the family legacy as a physician.

The 35-year-old shadowed her father, learning to be patient, kind, and an engaging educator. As a physician, she wants to ensure her patients understand their diagnosis and treatment plan.

Following medical school, Nathaline received a master’s degree in public health. When looking for a residency program, she decided on Authority Health because it offered a certificate in population health from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She became chief resident of family medicine at Authority Health in Detroit and completed her residency training this year.

“I really wanted the opportunity to delve into the population aspect of family medicine,” she said in an email. “I feel that to be able to care for the patient you have to understand the environment that they grew up in and the factors that influence their health from the past to their present. That population health aspect and looking at the patient holistically would help me be a better physician.

“Right now, I am most looking forward to being the sole provider of my patients and also being able to collaborate with my colleagues on various patient cases. I am also looking forward to possibly being a mentor to the next generation of physicians.”

Although she is not a mother at the moment, Nathaline said she would like to see her children work in the medical field and continue the family legacy.

“I would like my children to work in population health or in the medical field (not necessarily a doctor) because I may be biased but I think that is where they can contribute the most to the world,” she said. “I want them to learn to be compassionate towards others and be culturally competent. However, ultimately I want my children to be happy and to do what they are most passionate about.”

In September, Nathaline will be working with Lutheran Medical Group in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Her father will continue to work as a family medical specialist in Temperance.

–Courtesy of Family Medical Center of Michigan (Editor’s note: This story also appeared in the Monroe Evening News; photo provided.)

InterCare Graduates First Class of Dental Assistant Apprentices

BANGOR, Mich. – On May 12, InterCare held a graduation ceremony for its first class of dental assistant (DA) apprentices. The four graduates are Janiqua Allen, Katerika Lee, Sylvia Perry and Tasha Walton. The apprentices participated in months of online training, gained experience through clinical apprenticeship time and took their certification exams. Dental assistants are an important part of the oral health team who help dentists and dental hygienists, prepare patients for care and manage dental instruments.

The DA Apprentice program provides jobs for people in our community and fills open positions that allows InterCare to provide services in the community. “You are making a meaningful impact in our clinics,” Velma Hendershott, InterCare’s President and CEO, said to the graduates. “Your work is valued, and we’re glad you chose this path.”

The clinical instructors and preceptors for the program were Shelly Clay, RDA and Stacy Morgan, RDA. Rita Rogers, RDH was the program leader. Lead dental assistant Jamie Phillips and Benton Harbor health center manager Robin Golliday, RN, MBA also provided assistance. The Michigan Primary Care Association provided program development, funding and support of the program.

Congratulations, graduates!

–Courtesy of InterCare Community Health Network Communications & Marketing

Thunder Bay Community Health Service Names CEO

HILLMAN, Mich. – Thunder Bay Community Health Service, Inc., has appointed Richard Bates, MD, CPE, as the organization’s new chief executive officer.

Dr. Bates is a graduate of Alma college and Michigan State University. He received his Doctor of Medicine from Wayne State University and is a Certified Physician Executive. He practiced medicine for over 25-years and has held many executive leadership positions throughout his career, most recently acting as the Chief Medical Officer at Thunder Bay.

“I believe in social justice and have a passion for serving others in our rural communities. Northern Michigan is home, and these communities represent our families, friends, and neighbors. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve others and carry on the mission of building healthier communities. ”

Outside of work, Dr. Bates enjoys spending time with his family, his wife Cheryl, children and granddaughter. He is an active community member and enjoys hiking, gardening, rooting for local sport teams and exploring spirituality.

CHASS Unveils New Mammography Services

DETROIT – This week, Community Health and Social Services (CHASS) Center, Inc., in Southwest Detroit, unveiled CHASS Center’s new Mammography Services that will help to ensure thousands of women in the metro Detroit community receive critical life-saving breast cancer screenings each year. Felix Valbuena Jr., MD, CEO, CHASS Center was joined by Senator Debbie Stabenow, Congressman Shri Thanedar, Detroit Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison, stakeholders and community leaders at a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning.

Photo gallery can be found here.

“The expansion of the our mammogram services will provide CHASS Center with the resources, equipment and technology available to continue to provide the most advanced care to our patients,” said Felix Valbuena Jr., MD, CEO, CHASS Center. “Mammograms remain the best way to detect early signs of breast cancer. We are thrilled to be able to offer this life-saving screening to the community and further our mission of providing high quality, affordable care to underserved populations in Detroit.”

In 2020, CHASS began a fundraising campaign with the vision to ensure every women of age served at CHASS receives an annual mammogram regardless of their ability to pay. This goal was made possible through the support of generous donors including Empowerment Foundation, DMC Foundation, Meadowbrook Country Club Rally For the Cure and a public donation drive. With a projection of screening 180 women between the ages of 40-74 per month, CHASS’ Mammography Center estimates screening over 2,100 women annually.

“Since 1970, CHASS has been ensuring that people have access to quality, affordable health care in Detroit. And now with their new mammography service, they will be able to help people live long, healthy lives. I will continue to lead the fight to ensure that community health centers have the funding they need so clinics like CHASS can keep providing their patients excellent care,” said Senator Stabenow.

“I applaud the CHASS Center’s relentless dedication to delivering comprehensive healthcare services to Detroit’s underprivileged individuals and families,” said Congressman Shri Thanedar. “It is an honor to have taken part in the ribbon-cutting event that expanded CHASS’s mammography services which will provide countless women with life-saving breast cancer screenings each year. I look forward to working with them further to promote access to healthcare for all Detroiters.”

“Thank you to the team at CHASS for the amazing work they’re doing, removing barriers, and ensuring access to essential health care for Detroiters who need it most,” said Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison. “With the addition of this new mammogram machine, CHASS aims to make sure every woman who needs this potentially life-saving test will have access, regardless of their ability to pay.”

A trusted health resource in the community for over 50 years, CHASS Center is a federally qualified health center formed to develop, promote, and provide comprehensive, accessible, and affordable quality primary health care and support services to all residents of the community, with emphasis on the underserved African American and Latino populations in Detroit. Since 1970, CHASS has served as a one-stop-shop for care, helping patients overcome environmental factors that prevent them from achieving, or maintaining, good health.

Treating nearly 12,000 patients annually, CHASS offers a full spectrum of ongoing services including primary and preventative health care, as well as dental and behavioral health services for individuals of all ages.

CHASS Center offers linguistically and culturally proficient care.  The Center accepts patients of all ages and insurance status from uninsured to insured, including Medicaid and Medicare.

The Community Health and Social Services (CHASS) Center, Inc. is a community-based, not for profit organization formed to develop, promote, and provide comprehensive, accessible and affordable quality primary health care and support services to all, with special emphasis on the underserved African-American and Latino populations. CHASS is committed to the overall well-being of the community.

(Courtesy: CHASS Communications and Marketing; photo provided)

EJFHC’s Rachel Krino Named Northern Michigan’s Most Influential

TRAVERSE CITY–Rachel Krino, the marketing and outreach director for MPCA-member Bellaire and East Jordan Family Health Centers, has been named to the Record-Eagle newspaper’s list of “Influential Women of Northern Michigan.”

“I am honored to be featured in Record Eagle’s Influential Women of Northern Michigan,” Krino said. “I’m passionate about helping communities have a voice and to come together to help one another. (But) my contribution isn’t about recognition or awards, but rather finding fulfillment in helping where it is needed. Together, we build healthy, happy communities.”

Krino was nominated by community member and health center board member, Patti Savant.

FULL STORY of Influential Women of Northern Michigan.

InterCare Graduates First Class of New Medical Assistants

BANGOR–Recently, InterCare Community Health Network celebrated the graduation of its first class of medical assistant (MA) apprentices with a graduation ceremony. The eight graduates will soon be completing a 12-month program that combines paid on-the-job training with online classes, and are ready to take the certifying exam to earn the title of Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA).

The graduates are Brielle Gibson, Daisy Mireles, Maria Palacios, Brenda Parada, Quenetta Parker, Tammicia Reid, Krissy Thomas and Ana Vazquez.

Medical assistants are skilled healthcare professionals who help medical providers (doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants) in clinics. They take vital signs, draw and prepare blood samples, perform EKGs, assist providers with procedures, enter data in the patient’s medical record and have other duties. Once they pass the certification exam, the new medical assistants will work in one of InterCare’s clinics in Bangor, Benton Harbor, Eau Claire, Holland or Pullman.

The MA Apprentice program offers training for well-paid jobs, fills needed positions in the clinics and provides opportunities for InterCare employees and community members to advance their careers. “We’re proud of our graduates and we’re excited to celebrate them,” said Velma Hendershott, InterCare’s President and CEO. “Their growth and new contributions will help us on our mission to improve the health of our communities.”

The Medical Assistant Apprenticeship program was developed in partnership with the Glocal Institute. Other educational initiatives at InterCare include a Dental Assistant Apprenticeship program and a partnership with A. T. Still University for physician assistant clinical rotations.

–Courtesy David Burgess, InterCare Communication & Marketing Specialist