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News & Press: MPCA News

Champion for the Medically Underserved Award Presented to Senator Hertel, Jr.

Monday, March 14, 2016  
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Lansing, MI, March 14, 2016  On behalf of Michigan’s 39 Health Center organizations, Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) presented Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D – East Lansing) with a Champion for the Medically Underserved Award during its Legislative Forum held in Lansing on March 8, 2016.


This annual award recognizes leaders for their work to promote and protect affordable, quality health care for medically underserved populations in Michigan.


Senator Hertel, Jr. has long been a health care champion. Throughout his career, he has worked with multiple facets of government to serve the residents of Michigan – starting within the Department of Health & Human Services. Later, while on the Ingham County Commission, he focused on expanding access to health care in the community through the Ingham Health Plan.

“We extend our deepest appreciation to Senator Hertel, Jr. for his commitment to advancing the health of medically underserved Michigan residents,” said Kim Sibilsky Chief Executive Officer, Michigan Primary Care Association. “He understands the complicated nuances of health care regulation and finance and utilizes his experience and relationships to work in a bipartisan fashion to advocate for Michigan’s health care needs.” Currently, Senator Hertel, Jr. serves as the Minority Vice-Chair of the Health Policy Committee and is a member of the Health and Human Services Appropriations sub-committee.

In addition, Senator Mike Shirkey (R – Clark Lake) was presented with a special commendation for his continued Health Center leadership and support. “Senator Shirkey is, through and through, a dedicated health care advocate and longtime champion of the medically underserved,” said Sibilsky. “His leadership demonstrates support and focus on the growing demand of health care providers through support of the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse scope of practice, the need to expand Medicaid through the Healthy Michigan Plan and the development of a promising dental mid-level profession.” Senator Shirkey, a 2014 recipient of the Champion for the Medically Underserved Award, currently serves as the chair of the Senate Health Policy Committee and as vice-chair for the Appropriations subcommittee for Community Health.

Currently, 39 Michigan Health Centers serve more than 615,000 residents at more than 250 delivery sites. The doors of Health Centers are open to all, regardless of insurance status and with fees based on household income.
To learn more about Michigan Health Centers and find a Health Center near you, please visit


For over 35 years, the Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) has been the voice for Health Centers and other community-based providers. MPCA is a leader in building a healthy society in which all residents have convenient and affordable access to quality health care. MPCA’s mission is to promote, support, and develop comprehensive, accessible, and affordable quality community-based primary care services to everyone in Michigan. For more information, please visit or call 517.381.8000.



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