New Spectrum Health Clinic improves primary care access

August 07, 2013

DOTmed: Please outline the scope of this project.
Spectrum Health is taking another important step to improve access to primary care for its patients.

The Spectrum Health Medical Group Community Medicine Clinic (CMC) opened on August 5. It will serve patients who have had a hard time finding a doctor to oversee their medical care, many because of insurance concerns.

"We know that having a personal doctor positively impacts overall health. This clinic will open the door to primary care for patients who have challenges finding that level of care," said Kenneth J. Fawcett, Jr., MD, interim president, Spectrum Health Medical Group.

According to research by the American College of Physicians, having a primary care physician results in better quality of life, more productive longevity and lower costs as a result of reduced hospitalization, improved prevention and better coordination of chronic disease care.

Dr. Fawcett explains that the CMC is designed around the Primary Care Transformational Model, which focuses on access to care and the patient experience.

"This model looks at the needs of the individual patient and is highly coordinated between various providers and settings. Because we value our patients' time, we work as a team to get answers and care to people efficiently. This helps limit the level of concern that patients often experience while waiting for answers," he explains.

The clinic is located at 75 Sheldon Boulevard SE, Suite 101, in Grand Rapids, next to the Spectrum Health Medical Group Center for Integrative Medicine (CIM). The CIM was established in 2011 for patients with special health needs who frequently used hospital emergency departments for their medical care. The CIM helps these patients integrate into primary care and other traditional outpatient medical settings. Many of these patients will now be able to receive their primary care through the new Community Medicine Center.

DOTmed: How will this project help the community you serve?
"We anticipate that the clinic will be a great resource for patients who may be uninsured or underinsured," said Dr. Bouwens. "We will also treat patients referred by the Center for Integrative Medicine and other patients who have had a hard time accessing primary care."