Health Center Continues Low Birthweight Streak

Niles, MI, July 22, 2021 – Pregnancy is an exciting time for a woman and her family; however, it can also be stressful. The key to a successful pregnancy and delivery is early prenatal care. Early prenatal care allows the healthcare provider to ensure the expectant mother has the latest information on healthy behaviors, education on what to expect during and after pregnancy, and detection of early signs of potential complications that could result in low birthweight. Timely prenatal care not only creates a positive impact on infant health, it also plays a significant role in post-partum maternal health.

Cassopolis Family Clinic Network (CFCN), a Federally Qualified Health Center, serving the residents of Cass and Southeast Berrien Counties, provides obstetrical care for women who are uninsured or covered by Michigan Medicaid. Prenatal care is the first and best step to increase chances of a healthy outcome for the mother and infant. CFCN has realized a better than average low birthweight rate since the inception of obstetrical services in 2007. “Infants with low birthweight weigh less than 5 lbs., 8 oz. at time of birth. There are two subclasses of low birthweight: very low (less than 3 lbs., 9 oz.) and extremely low (less than 2 lbs., 3 oz.),” said Dr. Kenneth Kaufmann, CFCN OB/GYN provider. “A low birthweight newborn may be healthy even though his weight is below 5lbs., 8 oz. On the other hand, some low birthweight newborns may face serious health issues. Low birthweight is often a result of premature birth, meaning the newborn is welcomed into the world before 37 weeks of pregnancy.”

The current national low birthweight rate is 8.3%, the state of Michigan is 8.8% (percentages based on 2019 data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and CFCN’s is 6.2% – well below the state average. “We encourage mothers to seek prenatal care as soon as they find out they are pregnant. Seeking prenatal care within the 1st trimester (prior to 13 weeks gestation) and presenting for each scheduled visit is the key to ensure the pregnancy is on track to reach full term (39 – 41 weeks) and early detection for any issues that may arise. Patient education is a crucial part of prenatal care to inform the expectant mother on what to expect, warning signs to look for, and healthy habits for her and the newborn. It is due to our consistent communication with the expectant mother, proactive patient education, and collaboration with Bronson Maternal Fetal Medicine for high-risk pregnancies, we can attribute this continued achievement,” said Dr. Kaufmann.

The health center’s integrated model of care, which focuses on the patient’s needs, also includes behavioral health services to support mothers during pregnancy.  “We have a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner on staff who is certified in Perinatal Mental Health. We can support our moms currently on medications, or provide an assessment that helps determine the need for Psychotropic medications,” said Dr. Matthew Pazderka, CFCN Chief Medical Officer.  “We also provide Substance Use Treatment with medical staff, nurses, social workers, community health workers and pharmacists who are all committed to helping expectant mothers be well and deliver full term, healthy babies.”

“I like to say that we change lives and save lives every day,” said Mary Geegan Middleton, Chief Executive Officer. “It’s the result of dedicated staff members working in an integrated model of care which wraps services around our patients that makes such a positive difference.”

Please contact Niles Community Health Center for more information or to schedule appointment, call (269) 683-0300.

 

About Cassopolis Family Clinic Network

Cassopolis Family Clinic Network is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). With locations in Cassopolis and Niles, CFCN provides quality affordable healthcare for the communities of Cass and southeast Berrien Counties. For more information go to www.cassfamilyclinic.org.

This health center is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).

Health Center Receives Investment From American Rescue Plan

Health Center Receives Investment from American Rescue Plan

Cassopolis, MI, April 1, 2021 – Cassopolis Family Clinic Network (CFCN), a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) serving the communities of Cass and southeast Berrien Counties, will receive $2,285,750 over the course of two years as a part of the American Rescue Plan.

The American Rescue Plan provides a $6 Billion investment for Community Health Centers nationwide to expand COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and health care services to individuals who are at higher risk for COVID-19. Nearly 1,400 health centers across the country will be provided funding beginning in April. 1 in 5 individuals in rural populations receive care from Community Health Centers and more than 91% of health center patients are living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. This investment allows health centers to make improvements to infrastructure and expand operational capacity in order to better serve their communities.

CFCN is excited to begin planning to determine how to best utilize the investment. “This is an incredible opportunity for our health center to have a bigger impact. We’re not looking to grow our service area. We’re looking to continually enhance the depth of services we are able to offer our patients” says CFCN Chief Executive Officer, Mary Geegan Middleton.

About CFCN

Cassopolis Family Clinic Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, designated as a
Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). With locations in Cassopolis and Niles, CFCN
provides quality affordable healthcare for the communities of Cass and southeast Berrien
Counties. For more information go to www.cassfamilyclinic.org.

 

This health center is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).

CFCN Receives Emergency Grant from Direct Relief to Bolster the Healthcare Safety Net in Cass and Southeast Berrien Counties

CFCN Receives Emergency Grant from Direct Relief to Bolster the Healthcare Safety Net in Cass and Southeast Berrien Counties 

Cassopolis, MI, June 15, 2020 – Cassopolis Family Clinic Network (CFCN) today announced an infusion of $50,000 in emergency grant funding from the medical aid organization Direct Relief, in partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers.

CFCN was among 518 federally qualified health centers to receive funding this week through Direct Relief’s $25 million Covid-19 Fund for Community Health, which recognizes the profound effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the finances, services, staff, and patients of community health centers.

CFCN will use the funds to help offset expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Access to primary care is what keeps people healthy and out of the hospital, and the frontline work of CFCN and other nonprofit community health centers across the U.S. is more critical than ever with the onset of Covid-19,” said Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe. “Direct Relief is doing everything possible to bolster the work and support the staffs at the safety-net health facilities on which so many patients and their families rely for excellent care and trust for advice in this public health emergency.”

Nearly 30 million (1 in 12) of the country’s most vulnerable residents – including 1 in 3 individuals living in poverty, 1 in 5 Medicaid beneficiaries, and 1 in 9 children – rely on federally qualified health centers like CFCN for their healthcare. That number is expected to rise as more people lose employer-sponsored insurance.

“We are grateful for this critical and immediate support as Community Health Centers work hard to keep communities safe during an unprecedented pandemic,” said Tom Van Coverden, President & CEO of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). “We are also deeply appreciative of our longstanding partnership with Direct Relief in these uncertain times and their efforts to ensure that health centers confronting multiple challenges in underserved communities have the resources when and where they need them. We know that many donors and contributors have helped to make this fund possible, and we further extend our appreciation to all of them.”

About CFCN

Cassopolis Family Clinic Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, designated as a Federally
Qualified Health Center (FQHC). With locations in Cassopolis and Niles, CFCN provides quality affordable healthcare for the communities of Cass and southeast Berrien Counties. For more information go to www.cassfamilyclinic.org.

 

This health center is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).

An Act of Solidarity

An Act of Solidarity

June 17, 2020 | A statement from Cassopolis Family Clinic Network

In light of recent current events, we invited all employees to kneel in silence for 8 min and 46 seconds at 12:45PM on Tuesday June 16th. This was meant as an act of solidarity, acknowledging systemic racism and its negative impacts, particularly health disparities for people of color in our community and the nation at large. Community Health Centers were founded in the 1960s as a result of the Civil Rights Movement with the goal of ending health inequities. Cassopolis Family Clinic’s vision of providing “high quality, integrated healthcare for all members of the community” aligns with national calls to bring awareness and action to this long standing issue. This act of solidarity renews our already passionate commitment to living out our vision as an organization.

This health center is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).

A Call For Change For All Americans

A Call For Change For All Americans

June 2, 2020 |Statement from Tom Van Coverden, President & CEO and Lathran J. Woodard, Board Chair of the National Association of Community Health Centers on the Death of George Floyd

Community Health Centers stand with all Americans condemning the horrific killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. We are distressed, angry and afraid – especially for the men and women of color in the nation who face harm and discrimination simply by going about their daily lives.  Because a 17 year-old girl bravely recorded this brutal murder at the hands of the police – no one – not even the most callous or indifferent – can now ignore what has been neglected and shunned aside in America for far too long.  Mr. Floyd’s death, and the scores of those who have suffered similar fates, sadly are a part of a historical legacy of injustice and racism that pervades and is ingrained in our society.

Born out of the civil rights and social justice movement of the 1960s, the nation’s Community Health Centers serve to this day as advocates for quality care and health equity for all.  As community-based health care providers to 30 million people in over 14,000 medically underserved communities across America, we are first-hand witnesses to the direct effect of violence, stress, physical and mental abuse on the health and well-being of our patients – people on the receiving end of racism and discrimination because of the color of their skin, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, income level or insurance status.

We as a nation must do more if we are to believe and hold true to the principles of our democracy.   And we must do it together.  We must usher in real change to protect and improve the lives of all people – from our local policing practices to our judicial and legal systems, to our educational institutions, to our health care systems. Most importantly, we must move forward public policies at local, state and national levels that reflect the true needs and priorities of a country in crisis.

Community Health Centers were created for and by the communities they serve. We are ready to work for real change. We are the catalyst for real change in this country; if not us, then who?

  

This health center is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).

Niles Community Health Center Expands Behavioral Health Team

Niles Community Health Center Expands Behavioral Health Team

Bette Spearritt, LMSW, CAADC, CCS

Saundra Mortenson, LMSW

Cassopolis, MI, May 6, 2020 – As the need for easy access to behavioral health services increases in southwest Michigan, Niles Community Health Center (NCHC) has welcomed two new therapists to its’ team: Bette Spearritt, LMSW, CAADC, CCS and Saundra Mortenson, LMSW.

Spearritt, a southwest Michigan native, received her Master of Social Work Degree from Grand Valley State University, and is a Certified Advanced Alcohol & Drug Counselor and Clinical Supervisor.  She will be fulfilling the role of Behavioral Health Substance Use Disorder Treatment Manager at NCHC.  “It was a unique opportunity to participate in creating a new program in the area where I feel passionate.  There is an extreme need to treat and support individuals suffering from substance use and addiction.  In the Niles area there are very limited services available to treat these medical conditions. Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is a much needed service, and I am excited to be a part of the set up and implementation of this new program,” said Spearritt when asked why she decided to join the health center.  The Substance Use Disorder Treatment Program will be available to established Cassopolis Family Clinic Network (CFCN) patients later this year.    

Mortenson, also a native of southwest Michigan, received her Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Michigan and has joined the staff as a Behavioral Health Therapist.  “What I most enjoy about my job is the ability to work with patients to provide encouragement and the resources they need to live a healthy and happy life.  It’s especially rewarding to work with individuals who have experienced loss or trauma as they find their way again and discover or rediscover who they truly are,” said Mortenson.  

Niles Community Health Center Behavioral Health (NCHCBH) is located inside the new NCHC at 1951 Oak Street, Niles, MI.    Behavioral Health services are offered Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  For more information or to schedule an appointment please call (269) 665-8800. 

About Cassopolis Family Clinic Network

Cassopolis Family Clinic Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).  With locations in Cassopolis and Niles, CFCN provides quality affordable healthcare for the communities of Cass and southeast Berrien Counties.  For more information go to www.cassfamilyclinic.org.

This health center is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).