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Southwest Michigan, July 10th, 2019 – Last week, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) continued a series of health care “check-in” visits across the state. Stabenow met with providers, patients, and other stakeholders in Southwest Michigan to hear first-hand about their challenges and needs. Stabenow first toured the Benton Harbor VA Clinic before meeting with officials at the Benton Harbor InterCare Community Health Network Clinic. She then toured the Cassopolis Family Clinic Network and met with providers and board members.

Over 900,000 people or 17% of all Michigan workers are employed in healthcare-related jobs. Health care has a $65 billion economic impact each year in Michigan—more than any other industry in the state. From hospitals, VA clinics and pharmacies to mental health and addiction treatment programs, home health and school-based clinics, Senator Stabenow is visiting a broad range of health services and providers across the state this year. She will help showcase innovative programs and services and discuss ways to improve services and bring down costs.

“Health care directly impacts the lives of people and is also one of the biggest drivers of our economy,” said Senator Stabenow. “Today’s visits are an important way for me to hear first-hand from some of Michigan’s most dedicated health professionals and patients on ways to improve care and bring down costs for Michigan families.”

“We were pleased to meet with Senator Stabenow and discuss services provided to Veterans at the Benton Harbor VA CBOC, where we are honored to provide services to almost 3,000 Veterans,” said Brian Pegouske, Public Affairs Officer for the Battle Creek VA Medical Center. “The MISISON Act helps us to meet the needs of our Veterans at the right time and place. We are in the planning phase for expanding the clinic space by the end of 2020 to better serve our nation’s heroes in the community.”

“We were delighted to give Senator Stabenow a tour of our Benton Harbor facility and discuss the changing needs of our communities,” said Velma Hendershott, CEO of InterCare Community Health Network. “One of the main benefits of community health centers is the comprehensive range of services, and we strive to integrate all of these services together to provide a patient-centered home for our patients. We would like to thank Senator Stabenow for her unwavering advocacy on behalf of community health centers and the nearly 700,000 individuals that are served in health centers in Michigan.” 

“We are so pleased to have Senator Stabenow return to our community and see what we’ve accomplished, in terms of our new facilities and expanded services,” said Mary Geegan Middleton, CEO of Cassopolis Family Clinic Network. “Her staunch support of HRSA funding for the Community Health Center program has been a critical factor in Cassopolis Family Clinic Network’s success.”  

InterCare is the 3rd largest Community Health Network in the state of Michigan and serves four counties in southwest Michigan – Allegan, Berrien, Ottawa, and Van Buren. As a community health center, InterCare provides quality, affordable services to people who might otherwise have trouble finding affordable health care.

Cassopolis Family Clinic Network (CFCN) is an independent, Federally Qualified Health Center that provides primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, and healthcare enrollment assistance services for the communities of Cass and southeast Berrien Counties, Michigan. Today, CFCN cares for nearly 13,000 patients annually between five locations in Cassopolis and Niles.

As Ranking Member of the Health Care Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Stabenow plays an instrumental role in addressing federal health care policies.

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).