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October 9, 2018

SVSU-operated health clinic at Bay County Health Department wins statewide award for public health

Bay City Health ClinicA primary care health clinic operated jointly by Saginaw Valley State University and the Bay County Health Department has earned a prestigious award from the State of Michigan for its supportive regional services.

The Bay Community Health Clinic received the 2018 Michigan Department of Health & Human Services Director's Award to Local Public Health. Leaders with the health clinic will be publicly recognized Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 12:45 p.m. during the Michigan Premier Public Health Conference at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Bay City.

“This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the inter-professional team at Bay Community Health Clinic in delivering quality health care to an underserved population,” said Kathleen Schachman, SVSU's Harvey Randall Wickes Endowed Chair in Nursing and a nurse practitioner at the clinic.

“The partnership between SVSU and Bay County Health Department has created this unique clinical training environment that enriches the educational experience of health professions students and benefits the community.”

The award annually recognizes local health departments that adopt strategies to combat leading causes of illness, injury and premature death; promote health and well-being within the community; analyze and distribute data; and build community partnerships with agencies and individuals, both inside and outside of the health care sector.

As this year's recipient of the award, the health clinic will receive $1,000 in funds that will be used for operational expenses, a plaque, and a trophy that will be showcased over the next year at three locations, including SVSU. The trophy also will spend time at the downtown Bay City offices of the Bay County municipal building as well as the Bay County Health Department facility where the health clinic operates.

Joel Strasz, the Bay County Health Department health officer, called receiving the award a big accomplishment for all the agencies that contribute to the health clinic.

“The MDHHS Director's Award is a great honor and reflects the hard work and dedication of the staff at the Bay County Health Department, the SVSU College of Health & Human Services, the Bay Arenac Behavioral Health Authority and the community organizations that we work with to make the clinic a success,” Strasz said.

“I cannot stress enough how much hard work and dedication has gone into the clinic as it serves a very important purpose in Bay County, bringing essential and complex services to those in need. This is truly an innovative and groundbreaking initiative and I am grateful to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for the recognition.”

The health clinic was established in January 2015 through a partnership between the Bay County Health Department and SVSU, which provides much of the staff and resources for the clinic. The facility largely caters to clients less likely to seek treatment at more traditional medical facilities.

Since its founding, the clinic has been staffed by faculty members with experience as medical professionals. The clinic utilizes an integrated approach - teaming professionals in nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy and social work - to address physical and mental health issues on multiple fronts. Those professionals are supported by students who provide help while receiving hands-on training.

Along with SVSU, students from Ferris State University, Michigan State University and Wayne State University also have worked at the health clinic.

The clinic provides primary care medical services for patients of all ages. Those in need of such services can contact the facility at 989-895-2035.