Senator Stabenow Continues Health Care “Check-In” Visits in Upper Peninsula

Friday, May 10, 2019

UPPER PENINSULA – This weekend, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) continued a series of health care “check-in” visits across the state. Stabenow met with officials, providers and other stakeholders in the Upper Peninsula to hear first-hand about their challenges and needs. Stabenow visited the Delta County Drug Court in Escanaba and the Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center in Gwinn.


Over 900,000 people, or 17% of all Michigan workers are employed in health care related jobs. Health Care has a $65 billion economic impact each year in Michigan—more than any other industry in the state. From hospitals, VA clinics and pharmacies to mental health and addiction treatment programs, home health and school based clinics, Senator Stabenow plans to visit a broad range of health care providers and practitioners across the state over the coming year. She will help showcase innovative programs and services and discuss ways to improve services and bring down costs.


“Health care directly impacts the lives of people and is also one of the biggest drivers of our economy,” said Senator Stabenow. “Today’s visits are an important way for me to hear first-hand from some of Michigan’s most dedicated health professionals and patients on ways to improve care and bring down costs for Michigan families.”


"We had a positive and encouraging meeting with Senator Stabenow.  We were impressed by her understanding of drug addiction and the problems it is causing for Michigan communities.  We appreciate her support of drug and sobriety courts, which are proven to curb repeat criminal behavior while at the same time saving scarce public dollars,” said Judge Steven C. Parks, Chief Judge of Delta County. “Senator Stabenow also acknowledged that our mental health system is broken, and this is creating a huge burden for law enforcement and trial courts.  Her co-sponsorship of a bipartisan bill to address mental health issues is encouraging and greatly appreciated."


“Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center was pleased to show Senator Stabenow the efforts being put forth to improve the health and well-being of those living in rural Michigan. As a Federally Qualified Health Center serving more than 25,000 individuals throughout the Central and Western Upper Peninsula, we need and appreciate all the support we can get from our legislators,” said Donald Simila, CEO of Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center. “It’s important for Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center to continue providing exceptional, quality health care services and anticipating and exceeding the health care needs of our population. We are thankful for the opportunity to have discussed our challenges as well as our accomplishments and success stories.”

Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center provides the full complement of comprehensive primary health care services across the lifecycles.  Services include oral health, mental health, substance use counseling/services, medication assisted treatment, enabling services, specialty care/services, education, and comprehensive outreach. Moving forward, Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center looks forward to improving and expanding the delivery of integrated primary care, behavioral health and substance use disorder services.

As Ranking Member of the Health Care Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Stabenow plays an instrumental role in addressing federal health care policies.