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October 18, 2017

Open house to reintroduce community primary care health clinic in Bay County Health Department

Open house to reintroduce community primary care health clinic in Bay County Health Department, noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19 at the Bay County Health Department building, 1200 Washington Ave. in Bay City. 

Saginaw Valley State University, the Bay County Health Department and Bay-Arenac Behavioral Health are hosting an open house event to introduce a new name for a primary care health clinic available to the public.

Leaders have re-branded the health clinic as Bay Community Health Clinic - replacing the previous name, University Clinic - in hopes that the new name will clarify the clinic's role in serving the health care needs for all community members.  

SVSU and the Bay County Health Department partnered in 2015 to open the health clinic inside the health department building in downtown Bay City. Staff there hoped to attract underserved clients unlikely to seek primary care at traditional facilities. Later, Bay-Arenac Behavioral Health joined the partnership.

Patients can receive treatment ranging from routine care to chronic disorders. Nurse practitioners lead the interdisciplinary team at the Bay Community Health Clinic, a group that includes social workers, occupational therapists and pharmacists. Since the clinic is affiliated with SVSU, some staff members are students preparing for work in their communities and disciplines. These students use the opportunity to work in the community, honing their professional skills while providing top-notch care to patients.   

The philosophy of care is holistic; community members have access to all of these services under one roof - and often in one visit. The clinic serves insured patients and those who face economic or cultural barriers to medical care.

“The clinic has been in operation for two years, and we are thrilled to have a new look,” said Kathleen Schachman, SVSU's Randall Wickes Endowed Chair in Nursing and one of the clinic's coordinators.

The Bay Community Health Clinic had help in the rebranding effort from Cardinal Solutions, an interdisciplinary team of SVSU students and professors specializing in marketing solutions for local businesses. 

"They helped us with a complete redesign of our look and our name so that people in the community would better understand who we are and what we have to offer," said Sherry Kaufman, program manager for SVSU's Department of Nursing. 

In addition to serving Bay County, the clinic also acts as a base of operations for an outreach initiative to provide health care to northern lower Michigan communities. Earlier this year, SVSU won $1.4 million in federal funding to improve health care delivery for residents in the counties of Arenac, Gladwin, Iosco, Ogemaw and Oscoda. In partnership with Sterling Area Health Center, this innovative approach places graduate students in SVSU's nurse practitioner program into the field to provide patient care.

The Bay Community Health Clinic is open Mondays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located at 1200 Washington Ave. in downtown Bay City. For information or to schedule an appointment, call (989) 895-2035.