Community views Manistee Wellness Center

Tom Hatfield, a staff member for U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, presented a proclamation to Chip Johnston of Centra Wellness, one of the partners at the new Manistee Wellness Center. Others (from left to right) are James Barker, president of West Shore Medical Center, and Richard Nielsen, M.D., president of Crystal Lake Clinic.

FILER TOWNSHIP — Well over 100 citizens turned out Monday night for an open house at the new Manistee Wellness Center — a 17,000 square foot building that will be home to primary and behavioral care, laboratory, radiology, rehabilitation, substance abuse treatment and long term care coordination.

“The idea for this facility started with the formation of the Northern Michigan Health Coalition,” said Ingemar Johanson, Centra Wellness Network chief operating officer. “There are nine partners and as a result of getting together and talking, we now have six of those partners in this building.”

The six in the building are Crystal Lake Clinic, Centra Wellness, West Shore Medical Center, Catholic Human Services, Health Department District No. 10, and the Area Agency on Aging.

“This is truly a team effort at its best,” Johanson continued. “We’re all going to benefit from this.”

Richard Nielsen, M.D., president of Crystal Lake Clinic, said the goal of the Manistee Wellness Center is to serve the community and the people who live and work in it.

“We’re here, really, because of you, the people in the community,” Nielsen said. “Our goal is to improve access to care and improve quality of care. We want to make this a healthier community, and we’ll do this by partnering.”

Nielsen said that if agencies work together, the outcomes will improve.

“This type of integration is not just something that’s happening here in Manistee County,” he said, adding that he hopes the local collaboration can be a model for other parts of the state. He said the improvement in outcomes will come through the use of “electronic medical records, technology and by just talking to one another.”

Chip Johnston, Centra Wellness executive director, read a memo he received from a staff member.

“I met with someone for the first time today and after our appointment she was able to meet with the DHS (Department of Human Services) worker and from there she was able to see someone at Crystal Lake Clinic and get established as a patient. She was thrilled and said, ‘this was the best visit ever.’ I know this may not always work out this way, but it sure is gratifying when it does. One stop shopping. That is what it is all about.”

The building is located at 2198 U.S. 31 South in Manistee.

West Shore Medical Center is offering occupational therapy and physical therapy at the new Manistee Wellness Center. (Dave Yarnell/News Advocate)

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Posted by Dave Yarnell

Dave was formerly the News Advocate features writer and retired in November 2013.

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