Northwest Mich. Health Services announces service changes.

March 25, 2020

Northwest Mich. Health Services announces service changes.

Northwest Michigan Health Services Tuesday announced temporary changes to its sites and services offered in response to COVID-19 recommendations.
“These are unprecedented times that call for quickly responding to a changing situation,” said CEO Heidi Britton. Our goals in COVID-19 response are to minimize exposure to keep staff and patients healthy, slow the spread of the virus, and continue to provide access to our patients by keeping our clinics appropriately staffed.”

As a federally qualified health center, Northwest Michigan Health Services provides a full array of physical health care services to patients regardless of their insurance. Northwest has clinics in Traverse City, Benzonia, Manistee, Ludington and Shelby.

In response to the Michigan Dental Association’s COVID-19 recommendations, Northwest is continuing to provide emergency dental services on a limited basis at its Traverse City, Benzonia and Shelby clinics. Preventive and restorative services are being rescheduled.

Northwest is screening all patients with visits for respiratory symptoms and fever and conducting phone triage to determine the appropriate follow-up and testing for those individuals with symptoms. “Right now our focus is on preventing rapid spread of the virus, and protecting our patients and staff,” notes Britton. “That also means we are reviewing our patient visits to see which ones are essential, which can be postponed or accomplished with telehealth.

Patients with essential needs are still being served.”
Northwest’s Manistee Clinic, located adjacent to Next Generation Learning Center, is temporarily suspending services in order to consolidate staff and services. Other sites remain open.

Northwest is also providing assistance to patients and public who are coping with COVID-19 stress. “We know this stress is traumatic for our communities, and especially our most vulnerable members. That is why our behavioral health counselors have set up an email and phone warmline to answer questions and provide support, says Britton.” Contact them at [email protected] or 231-655-3867. A behavioral health therapist is available M-F from 8-12 and 1-4 to provide support and answer questions. (Note: patients are advised to avoid sending personal medical information by email.)

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