Health Center pays off loan

December 20, 2018

Isabella Citizens for Health, Inc. (ICH), a Federally Qualified Health Center providing primary health care to residents of Isabella County and surrounding communities, has successfully paid off its nearly $1.2 million line of credit from McLaren Central Michigan.

What began as a $20,000 loan in November of 2010, grew into a $1.2 million interest-free line of credit by 2015 extended by McLaren Central Michigan to ICH to establish a community health center in Isabella County.   The McLaren Central Michigan Board of Directors approved the financial support of this initiative as a strategic vision for ensuring future access to care for all residents of central Michigan, regardless of insurance status.

“In 2010, a small group of concerned residents got together to see how the community could ensure access to primary healthcare to all residents of the county. McLaren Central Michigan, under the leadership of then President and CEO Bill Lawrence and the Hospital Board, was also dedicated to this cause and joined the community group to form Isabella Citizens for Health, Inc. Without the initial loan from McLaren Central Michigan, the community health center might not have gotten off the ground”. Stated Steven Berkshire, EdD, President of the ICH Board of Directors and one of its founding members. “On behalf of the ICH Board, its providers and staff, we want to thank McLaren Central Michigan and, in particular, Bill Lawrence for their vision and belief in our endeavor”.

The funds enabled the center to begin operations with just one physician in 2013.  In 2015, ICH received its official designation from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as a Federally Qualified Health Center. HRSA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Today, the health center is the primary care medical home to more than 6500 individuals and will provide approximately 22,000 patient medical visits in 2018. ICH employs nine primary care providers and two outpatient therapists in two office locations in the Central Michigan Health Park in Mt. Pleasant.  In 2019, ICH will move into its new 24,000 sq. ft. medical building which includes space for additional services including onsite lab and pharmacy.

Isabella Citizens for Health, Inc. is one of 39 FQHCs in Michigan and 1400 FQHCs across the United States.

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