County Health Department, Sparrow to transform care at VOA


Published: Oct. 10, 2017

LANSING, MI – A new collaboration with the Ingham County Health Department will allow the innovative Sparrow Medical Group Volunteers of America Clinic to become a Federally Qualified Health Center, with additional resources to care for underserved Patients in our region.

Under the new federal designation, services at the health center will be expanded to include a full-time medical social worker, outreach and enrollment support from the Health Department for those eligible for insurance coverage, and outreach care for the chronically homeless who do not feel comfortable seeking services within traditional facilities.

“The Ingham Community Health Centers (ICHC) has a long history of providing care for traditionally underserved members of the community,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “We’re proud to collaborate with Sparrow Health System and to add the Sparrow Volunteers of America Community Health Center to our family of health centers. We look forward to serving more Patients with need though this exciting partnership.”

Patients at the new Sparrow Volunteers of America Community Health Center will continue to be served by a team of Sparrow Providers.

“We will continue to serve this population with the generosity of Sparrow now combined with the resources and expertise of the Ingham Community Health Centers,” said Lynn Nevin, M.D., Sparrow Physician and Practice Leader at the clinic. “We are thrilled to continue to provide quality, compassionate care to the Patients we serve with new partners in that mission.”

Sparrow is very proud of its efforts with Volunteers of America Michigan to make the clinic a reality in 2014 and take the lead in fundamentally transforming care for more than 3,000 Patients annually. The clinic is the second such collaboration in the nation between the Volunteers of America and a health system and the first in Michigan. It has hosted visits from such luminaries as U.S. Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop, and former Sen. Carl Levin, who have come to learn more about the unique practice.

“We’re happy to be continuing our innovation in homeless care with the addition of the Ingham County Health Department,” said Patrick Patterson, President and CEO of Volunteers of America Michigan. “The resources they’re adding will enhance care and improve revenue. I appreciate both my partners here, and am looking forward to a stronger future.”

Many of the Patients served at the clinic are physically disabled and/or suffer from mental illness. Most have difficulty accessing government health benefits to which they are entitled. The clinic has worked to provide quality, preventative care to these Patients, who previously may have only gone to the Sparrow Emergency Department for treatment.

“The Ingham Community Health Centers sees this development as a win-win for our community and our organizations,” said Jon Villasurda, Ingham Community Health Centers (ICHC) Board Chair. “ICHC’s history is rooted in serving those experiencing homelessness. Today, ICHC serves nearly 2,400 people experiencing homelessness at its Health Centers. This collaboration strengthens our mission and fosters key relationships to help create a more seamless health care delivery system for our county.”

Sparrow is committed to providing quality, compassionate care to every Patient, every time and looks forward to the next phase in the growth of the clinic and our collective efforts to improve the health of the people in our communities.

Choose Wisely. Choose Sparrow.