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).

Health Center Receives $50,000 Grant for Telehealth Services

Cassopolis, MI, April 21, 2020 – Cassopolis Family Clinic Network (CFCN), a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) serving the communities of Cass and southeast Berrien Counties, has received a grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund in the amount of $50,000.  The grant was gifted to assist CFCN, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, in their efforts to implement telehealth services to reach more patients, allow current patients to remain in a secure environment for their appointment (especially for senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals), and allow for more frequent follow-up care.

“I speak for everyone at our organization in expressing our gratitude to the Health Fund 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.  “Offering telehealth services will allow our medical and behavioral health providers to care for their patients in the comfort of their home to keep them well and out of the emergency room for non-life threatening matters.”

With the opening of its’ new facility, Niles Community Health Center, and expanded medical staff, CFCN is well positioned to serve more people in southwest Michigan with primary care and behavioral health services.  While the Health Center accepts most insurances, CFCN offers a Sliding Fee Discount Program for individuals who are uninsured or underinsured – eligibility is based on household size and income.  Community Health Workers are available at each location to help patients enroll in Michigan Medicaid Healthcare Plans, the Sliding Fee Discount Program, and Health Insurance Marketplace Plans.  “Removing financial barriers for people seeking primary care services is our focus.  Providing the community with the care people need is our goal,” said Middleton.

About the Michigan Health Endowment Fund

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund works to improve the health and wellness of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of healthcare, with a special focus on children and seniors. You can find more information about the Health Fund at mihealthfund.org.

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 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).