HILLMAN–For the last 40 years, Thunder Bay Community Health Service (TBCHS) has proudly provided Northeast Michigan with access to primary health care. Along the way TBCHS has grown by offering services in five primary care clinics in Hillman, Atlanta, Rogers City, Onaway and Fairview as well as extending primary care and behavioral health services to students in 20 local area schools across six counties in partnership with two educational service districts.
To mark this exciting occasion, TBCHS celebrated with an outdoor event recently at the clinic where it all began in Hillman. TBCHS was thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome staff, families, patients, community partners, legislative representatives and the many other individuals that have supported their mission over the years to recognize the growth and impact of the organization and set intentions for the future of Thunder Bay as well.
Two staffers from the Michigan Primary Care Association–Director of Member Services Kochheiser and Michigan Community Health Network Executive Director Russ Kolski–were on hand to take in the festive celebration. Kochheiser presented TBCHS administrative staff with an award on behalf of the MPCA to recognize four decades of service to the surrounding communities.
Not only has Thunder Bay expanded to new service areas in the last 40 years, but it has also expanded offered services to include pharmacy, behavioral health, dental, optometry, substance use disorder (SUD) and medication assisted treatment (MAT), lab and radiology services, psychiatry, internal medicine, insurance enrollment assistance programs, community health worker services, care management, and a variety of telehealth options as well.
“Thunder Bay Community Health Services could not have grown to become the organization it is today without great and dedicated staff, directors and community partnerships throughout its history. One of the areas of growth that I am most proud of is the school based health services that we have been able to provide to children and students across all of Northeastern Michigan,” said Ben Bolser, TBCHS’ Board Chair.
Food was provided by Nowicki’s Sausage Shoppe, ice cream by 32 Below, and music by Steve Rea all compliments of TBCHS. Kids were invited to join their parents and have fun with a chalk and bubble area in the Hillman Clinic parking lot.
TBCHS board chair, Ben Bolser, CEO Michelle Styma and board members led a dedication and ceremony to acknowledge Thunder Bay’s history and mission and express the hopes for the future.
“I am proud of Thunder Bay and the incredible growth we have had in the past 40 years to focus on our mission of building healthier communities. I look forward to our future years and the great services our organization will continue to provide in our northern Michigan communities” said Michelle Styma, CEO. During the dedication, Alvin Bartow was present and acknowledged for being a founding member of TBCHS. The ceremony ended with a Congressional Commendation presented by Brandon Kargol from the office of Congressman Jack Bergman. Tom Kochheiser, Director of Member Services at the Michigan Primary Care Association presented an award in recognition of Thunder Bay’s 40th Anniversary.
All along, Thunder Bay Community Health Service’s mission has been to commit its resources to building healthier communities in Northeast Michigan; TBCHS is honored and excited to have the opportunity to continue improving the health of our communities for another 40 years and beyond.
–Courtesy of Thunder Bay Community Health Service