Health Center Achieves Continued Low Birthweight Rate

Niles, MI, March 26, 2020 – Pregnancy is an exciting time as a woman enters into motherhood or is adding another member to 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 suggested 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 and adequate prenatal care not only creates a positive impact on infant health, but also plays a significant role in post-partum maternal health.

Cassopolis Family Clinic Network (CFCN), a Federally Qualified Health Center, began providing obstetrics and gynecology services in 2007 for women who were uninsured or covered by Michigan Medicaid. CFCN provides prenatal care which is the first and best step to increase chances of a healthy outcome for the mother and infant. CFCN has realized a low birthweight rate below state and national averages since the inception of obstetrical services. “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%, and the rate for the state of Michigan is 8.5% (percentages based on 2018 data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Delivering 413 infants in 2019, CFCN remains at 5% of infants delivered weighing less than 5 lbs., 8 oz. – 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.

Bronson Maternal Fetal Medicine in Kalamazoo is the only high-risk pregnancy center for southwestern Michigan and northern Indiana, caring for expectant mothers with complicated pregnancies. When the patients’ physician feels there is an issue that requires special expertise, the patient is referred to the Bronson specialist for consultation. As the mother and fetus are monitored, the patient, Bronson specialists and OB/GYN physician work together to develop a care plan achieve the best possible pregnancy outcome.

“I’m very proud of our dedicated medical, nursing, and support staff members who attend to every detail of prenatal care, delivery and follow-up care for our expectant mothers. Each birth is a little miracle,” said Mary Geegan Middleton, Chief Executive Officer.

In November of 2019, the Obstetrics and Gynecology practice moved into its’ new home and is now part of 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 $50,000 Grant to Expand Access to Integrated Healthcare

Health Center Receives $50,000 Grant to Expand Access to Integrated Healthcare 

Cassopolis, MI, February 25, 2020 – Cassopolis Family Clinic Network (CFCN), a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) serving the communities of Cass and southeast Berrien Counties, has received a $50,000 grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM). The grant was awarded to assist CFCN in their efforts to expand access to integrated care at the new Niles Community Health Center (NCHC) facility.

BCBSM has a unique social mission and a commitment to improving the health of Michigan residents. Over the past 15 years, Blue Cross has invested more than $15 million in grants to increase access to affordable healthcare and improve health equity. The funding has helped provide free and low-cost medical, dental and mental healthcare services for uninsured and underinsured residents throughout the state.

“Supporting safety net providers who work with vulnerable patient populations is one of the ways Blue Cross fulfills our social mission and enhances the quality of care provided across Michigan communities,” said Lynda Rossi, Executive Vice President of Strategy, Government, and Public Affairs at BCBSM. “We know improving access to integrated medical, dental and mental healthcare is critical to improving health outcomes, addressing health disparities and lowering costs.”

NCHC opened its doors in 2014 just as the state of Michigan expanded Medicaid to nearly 670,000 low-income state residents. Most were people who had no regular source of healthcare and used the emergency room when they were sick. The Health Center provides primary care and support services for people who are covered by most commercial insurances, Medicare, Michigan Medicaid, and has a Sliding Fee Discount Program for those who are uninsured.

“I speak for everyone at our organization in expressing our gratitude to BCBSM for its generous support of our Health Center and the important work we are doing in the community,” says CFCN Chief Executive Officer, Mary Geegan Middleton. “The grant funds will be used to support the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Program at the new NCHC facility.”

The new 30,000 sq. ft. facility has allowed the Health Center to double medical capacity to care
for additional 3,200 patients, create a new home for its’ Obstetrics and Gynecology services, and
have an on-site pharmacy. The facility also has a behavioral health wing providing psychiatric
and therapeutic services for patients with mild to moderate behavioral health conditions and is
currently developing a Substance Use Disorder Treatment Program.

“CFCN plays an important role in our community by providing easy access to high-quality,
affordable healthcare at multiple locations. While our Health Center provides care for everyone
who walks through our doors, we are a safety net provider – caring for the area’s most vulnerable
population,” said 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.

About BCBSM

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent
licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides health benefits to more
than 4.7 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michiganheadquartered
companies residing outside the state. The company has been committed to delivering affordable health care products through a broad variety of plans for businesses, individuals and seniors for more than 80 years. Beyond health care coverage, BCBSM supports impactful community initiatives and provides leadership in improving health care. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MIBluesPerspectives.com.

 

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 Opens On-Site Pharmacy

Niles Community Health Center Opens On-Site Pharmacy

Kevin Klipowicz, RPh Photo Credit: Ann Reiff/Studio 513 East

Niles, MI, February 17, 2020 – Niles Community Health Center (NCHC), owned and operated by Cassopolis Family Clinic Network (CFCN), is pleased to announce the opening of its’ on-site pharmacy at 1951 Oak Street, Niles. The pharmacy, open Monday – Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., is staffed by pharmacist Kevin Klipowicz, RPh.

“My favorite part of being a Pharmacist is working individually with each patient to build a relationship where they feel comfortable coming to me for medication recommendations and questions. Whether they need a good over-the-counter remedy, are concerned about possible interactions, or questions about a new prescription they are getting, I enjoy the opportunity to get to know them and earn their trust as their Pharmacist,” Klipowicz said.

Opened in November 2019, NCHC offers primary care, behavioral health, obstetrics and gynecology, healthcare enrollment assistance and pharmacy services. The addition of pharmacy is aligned with the Health Center’s integrated care model and Patient-Centered Medical Home designation. Patients have the convenience of filling their prescriptions in the same place they receive care. Having an on-site pharmacy is also expected to decrease waiting time, promote direct communication between the provider and the pharmacist, and improve patient safety by having a consulting pharmacist on staff. “One of the most exciting things about embarking on my career with CFCN, is the ability to help patients gain access to needed prescription medications through the 340B program. The program allows the Health Center to reduce the cost of prescription medications for patients who qualify. It was a daily occurrence at the retail pharmacy where I worked previously, that patients could not afford their medications. It was heart breaking to see patients turn away or ration their heart medication or insulin due to the cost,” said Klipowicz.

NCHC Pharmacy accepts most commercial insurances, Medicaid Healthcare Plans and Medicare. For individuals who are uninsured or underinsured, the Sliding Fee Discount Program is available to reduce the cost of healthcare services for those who qualify. For more information regarding Niles Community Health Center Pharmacy please call (269) 665-8900.

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 $300,000 Donation Towards New Facility

Health Center Receives $300,000 Donation Towards New Facility 

Cassopolis, MI, February 10, 2020 – Cassopolis Family Clinic Network (CFCN), a Federally Qualified Health Center serving the communities of Cass and southeast Berrien Counties, has received a $300,000 donation from Spectrum Health Lakeland. The contribution was given toward the cost of the new Niles Community Health Center (NCHC) facility that opened at 1951 Oak Street, just east of the Niles city limits in November of 2019.

NCHC opened its doors in 2014 just as the state of Michigan expanded Medicaid to nearly 670,000 low-income state residents. Most were people who had no regular source of healthcare, and used the emergency room when they were sick. Located in a small, 2 doctor office space at 24 N. St. Joseph Avenue, NCHC was at full capacity within a year. Quite simply, the original site could not meet the growing demand for services. The Health Center provides primary care and support services for people who are covered by most commercial insurances, Medicare, Michigan Medicaid, and has a Sliding Fee Discount Program for those who are uninsured.

The new 30,000 sq. ft. facility has allowed the Health Center to double medical capacity to care for additional 3,200 patients, create a new home for its’ Obstetrics and Gynecology services, and have an on-site pharmacy. NCHC Pharmacy is set to open later this month. The facility also has a behavioral health wing providing psychiatric and therapeutic services for patients with mild to moderate behavioral health conditions.

“I speak for everyone at our Health Center in expressing our gratitude to Spectrum Health Lakeland for its generous support. We hold our collaboration with the health system in high regard, and are committed to working together to care for the people in the Greater Niles area,” said CFCN Chief Executive Officer Mary Geegan Middleton.

CFCN plays an important role in Cass and southeast Berrien Counties by providing easy access to high-quality, affordable healthcare at multiple locations. While the Health Center provides care for everyone who walks through its doors, the Federally Qualified Health Center is a safety net provider – caring for the area’s most vulnerable population.

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).

CFCN Achieves Advocacy Center of Excellence Siver Status

Cassopolis Family Clinic Network Achieves Advocacy Center of Excellence Silver Status 

Cassopolis, MI, February 4, 2020 – In recognition of Cassopolis Family Clinic Network’s extensive local, state, and federal advocacy efforts, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) has awarded CFCN Silver status in the Advocacy Center of Excellence Program.   CFCN achieved Bronze status in December 2017.  

An Advocacy Center of Excellence, or ACE, is a Health Center that creates a culture of advocacy to ensure that policy makers at all levels of government commit to investing in affordable, equitable, and innovative care that health centers provide. ACE levels recognize consistent engagement, success, and demonstrated ongoing commitment to making advocacy an organizational priority.  ACE certification is awarded at three status levels – Bronze, Silver, and Gold – and the designation is valid for two years.

ACEs are actively engaged and involved with NACHC and federal policy issues, as well as their state Primary Care Association and key state and local-level policy issues impacting health centers and their patients.

“Today, Community Health Centers across the country are facing an uncertain future.  Even though health centers comprise the largest primary care network in the country, solidifying the backbone of the healthcare safety net, Congress has yet to pass long-term funding.  As a result, health centers are forced to operate on short-term funding patches, making it difficult to provide consistent services, plan for the future, and recruit and retain the best employees. Small businesses cannot survive without stability in funding. Health Centers can only continue to provide quality healthcare for people in the communities they serve if Congress acts – and acts now,” said CFCN Chief Executive Officer Mary Geegan Middleton. 

Those wishing to express support for CFCN or other community health centers can sign up to become an advocate at hcadvocacy.org.  For more information, contact Rose Willson at (269) 445-3874.  

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).

Cassopolis Family Clinic Network Physician Completes Geriatric Medicine Certification

Cassopolis Family Clinic Network Physician Completes Geriatric Medicine Certification 

Andre Smyth, D.O., Board Certified Family Medicine, Cassopolis Family Clinic, MI

Andre Smyth, D.O. Photo credit: Ann Reiff/Studio 513 East 

Cassopolis, MI, January 29, 2020 – Cassopolis Family Clinic Network (CFCN) physician, Andre Smyth, D.O., has passed the Geriatric Medicine Certification Examination from the American Board of Family Medicine.

Board Certified in Family Medicine, Dr. Smyth joined the medical staff of Cassopolis Family Clinic (CFC) in August of 2019.  Dr. Smyth, originally from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, obtained his Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine from Michigan State University followed by a Family Medicine Residency in Orange Park, FL and a Geriatric Fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.  “I wanted to pursue a Geriatric Medicine Fellowship to further develop my skills as a clinician in a population that is ever expanding and is in need a more providers. This Certification will help in my current role to consult with other providers within our Community Health Center and also as the Medical Director at the Cass County Medical Care Facility. My favorite aspect of Geriatric Medicine is the relationship you develop with the patient/resident and their family,” said Dr. Smyth.  Dr. Smyth is currently accepting new patients of all ages.

Medical services at CFC are offered by appointment only, Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.  For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (269) 445-3874.

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).