BCBS of Michigan Foundation Grant Awarded



Integrated health care is emerging


Manistee, Michigan –Centra Wellness Network (formerly known as Manistee-Benzie Community Mental Health) has, on behalf of the Northern Michigan Health Coalition, been awarded a $ 50,000 matching grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation.

In light of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, a group of nine local and regional human services organizations formed the Northern Michigan Health Coalition with the intent of improving the health care delivery in northern Michigan.

Centra Wellness Network (providing mental health care); Crystal Lake Clinic (primary care); West Shore Medical Center (acute and specialty care); Catholic Human Services (substance abuse care); Northwest Michigan Health Services (primary and dental care); Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan (long term care); Benzie-Leelanau Health Dept. (public health); District Health Dept. #10 (public health); and Michigan Community Dental Clinics (dental care) has joined together to develop an integrated health care and wellness system in the region where anybody is able to receive a range of health care services.

“It is with great anticipation that we will be able to formalize the structure of our partnership and to forward our mission to excel in our service delivery,” says Chip Johnston, Executive Director of Centra Wellness Network. “The grant funds will partly be used to set up a legal structure for the Coalition and yet keep our individual organizational identities intact.”

The Coalition consists of a unique mix of private and public organizations striving to improve the patient experience, to improve the patient care, and to, over time, lower the cost of care to the population in the region by integrating the care between the Coalition partners and other providers in the area.

“With this grant award, our Coalition will be able to begin the development of a common registry for health care information between the Coalition partners,” says Dr. Richard Nielsen, MD and President of Crystal Lake Clinic. “With the improved exchange of information and a keen eye on the coordination of care between the different providers that will result, the patients will benefit. That is our goal.”

Several of the Coalition partners will move into the Manistee Wellness Center that has been designed with integrated care in mind. It is currently under construction on the south side of Manistee, Michigan, and will be opened in the spring of 2013.

For more information, contact Ingemar Johansson, COO at Centra Wellness Network, at ijohansson@centrawellness.orgor 231.309.1721