Published on December 02, 2019

Clare Town Hall Discussion Focuses on Health Care Barriers, Delivery, Improvement

Photo of leaders from MidMichigan Health at Town Hall meeting in Clare, Michigan.

Leaders from MidMichigan Health recently held a Town Hall meeting in Clare to discuss current efforts to decrease health care barriers, means of improving health care delivery and areas of focus for health improvement.

Earlier this fall, MidMichigan Medical Center – Clare conducted a Town Hall meeting. The event, held at Cops and Donuts, was attended by nearly 20 community partners. A panel of leaders and staff from MidMichigan Health discussed current efforts to decrease health care barriers, means of improving health care delivery and areas of focus for health improvement.

According to Ray Stover, president of MidMichigan Medical Centers in Clare and Gladwin, the purpose for this community discussion was two-fold. “First, we wanted to update community partners on our recent efforts to improve the health of Clare County residents, and second, to receive input that will enhance our efforts to provide the best model of care in the future.”

Mary Greeley, vice president of population health, introduced the evening agenda by thanking the participants for contributing input with a pre-meeting survey. The input from this survey was used to frame the event discussion period. Greeley stated, “In health care, we know there are drivers that determine the health of an individual. We are here this evening to discuss what those drivers are in Clare County.”

The discussion around health care barriers and health care delivery included topics such as provider availability, transportation, what prevents people from seeking care, hospital re-admissions and why people wait until there is an emergency to seek care.

According to Cheryl Yesney, project and provider contracting director for MidMichigan Physicians Group, “Currently, our clinics have 17,421 patients who have seen a primary care provider in the past two years.” Yesney added that there is opportunity to empanel at least another 3,000 patients in Clare County, and there is no application process for patients to be accepted into the practice.

While discussing health behaviors, strategies to improve health in three areas were also discussed, as well as availability to learn more through the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). The three areas of focus reviewed were preventing chronic disease, improving maternal/infant health and providing access to mental health services.

Stover ended the evening by inviting community representatives to continue the conversation for the specific goal of working together to improve the health of Clare County residents. “Please feel free to contact me or any of the staff members here this evening with questions and ideas. We will plan another time to get together,” Stover added.

Those interested in reviewing the Community Health Needs Assessment for MidMichigan Medical Center – Clare may visit www.midmichigan.org/about/community-benefits/chna. Public comment about the CHNA plan is welcomed and can be directed to Julie Wright, community health specialist, at julie.wright@midmichigan.org. Those interested in finding a doctor may call MidMichigan Health Line toll-free at (800) 999-3199.