The need for expanded capacity
Demand for services is increasing at a rate of 24% per year.
The need for affordable healthcare for lower-income families has grown exponentially in the last five years. Unfortunately, supply has not kept up with the demand. Forty percent of the low-income people who need health care in Kent County cannot get it due to capacity restraints. Children make up half of this population.
Poverty is an ongoing critical concern in Michigan. According the the most recent Kids Count Report, Michigan's overall child poverty rate was 19.3 percent in 2007, up from 18.3 percent in 2005. Poverty likely has increased in the past two years because Michigan's economy has continued to decline. In addition to causing a decrease in the number of people who have medical insurance, the faltering economy and high unemployment rates are also driving up the incidence of mental health needs. More people need help with depression and anxiety disorders, but fewer of them have the means to pay for it.
There can be no doubt that income level is linked to health. Poor Americans are more than three times as likely as Americans with upper middle-class incomes to suffer physical limitations from a chronic illness. More than sixty percent of adult Medicaid enrollees have a chronic or disabling condition, most commonly diabetes, hypertension, asthma, psychoses and chronic depression. According to the Medical Panel Expenditure Survey (MEPS), one quarter of the entire Medicaid population has a mental disorder.
As health care evolves, we continue learning about the importance of treating a whole person, rather than treating an illness. For example, we know that prevention and management can substantially reduce the impact of chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or high blood pressure. Prevention today equates to lower costs and fewer complications tomorrow. It also means better quality of life for children who are reached early in life.
If we want to deliver comprehensive, effective care to the whole person, we must make it easy to access. This is especially true for the most vulnerable populations of our community whose economic situation restricts their mobility and choice of providers. By extension, children are the most vulnerable of all, because they are dependent on adults to seek services for them.
The Heart of the City Health Center seeks to address all of these issues by:
- providing integrated physical, mental and dental care in one facility.
- expanding capacity to reach 8,000 new patients.
- teaching a curriculum of integrated physical and behavioral health care delivery to physicians and staff
- working in the building.
- integrating patient data through a single electronic medical records (EMR) system so that each
- member of the care team has a complete picture of the patient.
Visit other parts of our site to learn more about how the building will support the needs of our clients.