Published on August 23, 2019

New Health Center Brings Low-Cost Care to Downtown Oscoda

Photo of the groundbreaking ceremony at Alcona Health Center.

Tricia Sommer, director of regional collaborations, MidMichigan Health; Sue Hoes, CFO, Alcona Health Center; Cyndi Swise, chief process and compliance officer, Alcona Health Center; Diane Postler-Slattery, Ph.D., FACHE, president and CEO, MidMichigan Health; Chuck Sherwin, president, MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena; Nancy Spencer, CEO, Alcona Health Center; Tom Marshall, M.D., medical director, Alcona Health Center; and Richard Bates, M.D., C.P.E., regional vice president of medical affairs, MidMichigan Health.

In a commitment to provide all patients with access to high-quality, affordable care, MidMichigan Health has expanded its partnership with Alcona Health Center, a federally-qualified rural community health center (FQHC).

Recently, Alcona Health Center broke ground on a new facility in downtown Oscoda. They will relocate their current operations, which includes primary care, lab and dental health services, along with MidMichigan Health’s rehabilitation services, from the Wurtsmith Air Force Base to the new downtown location. MidMichigan will also be adding imaging services and specialty clinics in the new building.

Patients in rural areas often have to travel longer distances to find hospitals or specialists. As a result, they may be less likely to get basic preventive care and more likely to experience costly hospitalizations or emergency room visits. FQHCs are federally-funded, locally-owned and community-led facilities that bring comprehensive preventive and primary care to medically underserved populations. FQHCs not only offer these services at affordable rates based on income and other factors, they also have been shown to dramatically reduce the rate of hospitalizations and emergency room visits among those populations.

“These partnerships are an important component to ensure all patients get the health care they deserve,” said Richard Bates, M.D., C.P.E., regional vice president of medical affairs, MidMichigan Health. “These collaborations support our newest strategic pillar of Community. By working together we help to bridge the gap and offer high quality health care services to otherwise medically underserved communities.”

Additional FQHC collaborations are underway in other communities in northeast Michigan.

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