Michigan Health Center Week
NC3 Interview with Travis Kroll, Associate Director, External & Internal Relations at Family Health Care. Kroll is responsible for marketing and communications, students and volunteers, and assists with provider recruitment.
Governor Whitmer has issued a proclamation marking August 8-14 as Health Center Week. Health Center Week offers the opportunity to celebrate Michigan’s health center organizations and all those responsible for their continued success and growth. Health centers are a critical element of the health system, serving both rural and urban communities, often providing the only accessible and dependable source of primary care in their communities.
1. Travis, what is a Community Health Center and why is it important for our area? Community Health Centers are community-based and patient-directed organizations that serve populations with limited access to health care. They help increase access to primary care services by reducing barriers such as cost, lack of insurance, distance, and language for their patients. Family Health Care (FHC) has placed its health centers in rural areas where health care options may be limited. By providing access to these services close to home in the rural towns of west-central Michigan, FHC invests in the health and wellness of our communities.
2. What types of services are offered at Family Health Care?
As a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), Family Health Care (FHC) is required to provide Medical, Dental, and Behavioral Health services. But we recognized that those were not the only services our communities needed. FHC also offers radiology, laboratory, vision, and pharmacy in many of its communities. In addition, we have providers specializing in pediatric dentistry and medical care, and medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders. FHC operates three school-based health centers that provide year-round care for children ages 5-21 in the school systems of Grant, White Cloud and Baldwin. Our community outreach programs help patients with in-home respite, insurance enrollment, immunizations and annual well-checks, behavioral health, and more.
3. How does a Community Health Center get revenue?
Like most health care organizations, Family Health Care receives a majority of its revenue from insurance payments. However, FHC also has an excellent record of applying for and receiving grants at the local, state, and federal levels to help with ongoing services and special projects.
4. Who qualifies to go to a Community Health Center?
Regardless of their ability to pay or insurance, everyone qualifies! As an FQHC, we provide care to many patients on Medicare and Medicaid and those with commercial insurance. FHC also provides a sliding fee scale for those without insurance, making health care services affordable to all.
5. Family Health Care is a collaborative member of our community. Tell me about some of the initiatives your organization is working on (including NC3).
Family Health Care is an active member of the NC3 Steering Committee and Workgroups. In addition, we have been offering COVID-19 testing and providing COVID-19 vaccinations for the community. Family Health Care has partnered with FiveCap to extend more access and make it easier to get vaccinated. This summer, we also partnered with Newaygo County Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect's Summer Magic program for fun activities to help children build skills for a successful school year.