2014-02-27 / Front Page

Affordable clinic opens in Bad Axe

By Kelly Taylor-Jerome
Editor • kjerome@mihomepaper.com • 810-245-9343


The Thumb Area Community Health Center, located, 1080 S. Van Dyke Road in the Huron Medical Center campus, is currently open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and is accepting new patients. The center accepts all patients, regardless of insurance status. 
Photo by Kelly Taylor-Jerome The Thumb Area Community Health Center, located, 1080 S. Van Dyke Road in the Huron Medical Center campus, is currently open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and is accepting new patients. The center accepts all patients, regardless of insurance status. Photo by Kelly Taylor-Jerome BAD AXE — Low income residents can breathe a little easier if they come down with the sniffles — or a gamut of other health care concerns.

The Thumb Area Community Health Center opened Monday and offers appointments and in-office treatment on a sliding scale. Most uninsured, low-income patients will pay only $20 for their appointment, Center Manger Michelle Colton said.

Uninsured, underinsured, Medicare and Medicaid patients can all receive low-cost treatment at the center.

“There’s no discrimination whether you have insurance or not, or what kind, it doesn’t matter. Everyone is welcome regardless of insurance coverage,” Colton said.

She said uninsured patients pay for their appointment on a sliding scale depending on income. Those who qualify pay the lowest rate of $20, and others pay 25 percent of the cost of their appointment and treatment.

Immunizations, tests, sutures, family planning services, physicals and many other in-office treatments are included in the cost.

Colton said the center takes appointment and walk-in patients, and while they’ve had a steady flow of appointments, the clinic hasn’t been overly busy. She said the center will always have accommodations for same-day appointments if the patient is in need.

She said the patients the center treated during its first two days have said they are grateful to have a new lowcost health care option.

“There has been a lot of gratitude,” Colton said. “Patients are telling us, ‘We’re so glad you’re here, We’ve been waiting for you.’ It’s been really nice.”

While the center does not currently offer dental services, Colton said it will as soon as possible.

“The need for dental in the area is very great. We’ve had a lot of requests,” she said.

Besides Colton, the staff is currently made up of two medical assistants and two physicians, Dr. Yasir Badiker and physician assistant Martha Coglin, who formerly worked in Port Austin Clinic.

The office, located, 1080 S. Van Dyke Road in the Huron Medical Center campus, is currently open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Colton said she plans to extend the hours to be open on Saturday and either early or late on some days during the week, depending on what patients say would best accommodate them.

To schedule an appointment, call 989-623-0137.

The Thumb Area Community Health Center also sees patients at HBH every Monday. Colton said the center is working with HBH to give clients better access to health care and because clients often feel more comfortable in a familiar setting. Clients can make an appointment by calling either HBH at 989-269-9293 or the center.

People without insurance can also go to the clinic to receive free help enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace before the March 31 deadline. To make an appointment to speak with a Certified Application Counselor, call toll free 1-855-921- 5353

The center was made possible by a federal new access point grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) granted the $858,333 award to Health Delivery, Inc. to open two new access sites in Huron County, and expand and stabilize the two existing sites in Shiawassee County for comprehensive primary health care including medical, dental, and behavioral health services.

Health Delivery Inc. (HDI), in conjunction with many community partners, applied for Federal Affordable Care Act New Access Point grant funding in Huron and Shiawassee Counties in the spring of 2013. These communities have a need for more access to affordable primary healthcare. This is imperative in addressing poor health outcomes such as high infant mortality, low levels of immunization compliance, consequences of chronic and infectious illnesses, untreated mental health issues, and high rates of deaths due to preventable causes. This grant opportunity will allow HDI to provide health care for Medicaid, uninsured, and underserved individuals. HDI will continue their excellent record of providing high quality, reliable, and compassionate care over a 40-year history. Service integration between local organizations and an Federally Qualified Health Center is critical, and improved patient outcomes are the result. Giving the underserved access to a primary care home keeps them from going without care and ending up in emergency rooms with even greater preventable problems.

The Mission of HDI is to provide excellent health care to individuals and groups in Saginaw, Bay, and other nearby counties, especially those who are underserved, uninsured, or underinsured. The services provided are sensitive to the needs of the community, are not based on ability to pay, and are offered without regard to criteria such as race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity. Health Delivery operates in 20 locations in the Great Lakes Bay Region, providing health and dental care to anyone. For more information, see www.healthdelivery.org.

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