One person. One place. One solution.
Forty percent of the low income population in Kent County - half of whom are children - goes untreated, because there is not enough capacity.
Health care is a challenging maze of different specialties, complex insurance rules and multiple locations. It is difficult for most people to navigate even under the best of circumstances.
But for a low-income person, our health care system is often too much to manage for three important reasons.
- Access. There is a chronic shortage of Medicaid providers in Kent County. Forty percent of the low income population in Kent County - half of whom are children - goes untreated, because there simply is not enough capacity to treat them.
- Transportation. Many low-income people do not have reliable personal transportation, which makes multiple visits to multiple providers an even greater challenge.
- Co-occurring conditions. Twenty-five percent of the low-income population also has a mental disorder, most commonly depression, as well as chronic health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and more. Comprehensive care will provide the best result.
Cherry Street Health Services, Touchstone innovarè, and Proaction Behavioral Health Alliance have joined forces to create Heart of the City Health Center, a new approach that addresses access and integration of care for low-income populations. This facility will consolidate the model of mind/body care, and reach approximately 8,000 new patients, with special emphasis on expanding services for children.
This approach – treating diseases of the mind as well as diseases of the body in one location - will become a model for health care provision throughout the United States in the years to come. In the process, it will simplify access to care for low income and underserved populations (especially children) and greatly improve delivery of those services. This project will also leverage federal funding, bringing in more than 58% of the needed dollars from outside the community.
What does this mean for patients?
- Increased capacity. The new facility will ease severe overcrowding, reduce operating expenses, and dramatically increase availability of services, especially to children. Approximately 8,000 additional patients will receive first-class services through this expansion.
- Proactive care. Heart of the City Health Center will give patients access to the right kinds of preventive care and self care that will help them manage chronic conditions more effectively.
- Better results. All facets of the person and their illnesses will be treated together to achieve the best possible result for the lowest cost.
What does this mean for our community?
- Jobs. The construction of the facility will employ approximately 200 people; the Center will employ 310 healthcare professionals when it opens.
- Environmental impact. This construction will clean up a brownfield site in downtown Grand Rapids, enhancing the vitality and rebirth of the district. The new facility is also being targeted for LEED certification, which will lower its operating costs and decrease environmental impact.
- A new model. The Heart of the City Health Center will position Grand Rapids to be a leader in the development of an integrated care model that will be a national benchmark throughout the United States.