Two Northwest Michigan schools have a new healthcare model


The state Departments of Community Health and Education are partnering to support a new approach to healthcare in northwest Michigan.

Health officials say more than half a million dollars in grant money is being used for a program in Pellston and Mancelona. It aims to integrate physical and mental health care for youth.

Erika Van Dam is with the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. She said the other focus of the program is linking families to needed resources.

“If a child comes in and they have a new diagnosis of diabetes, there’s a lot of coping that goes along with that having that new diagnosis may be feeling like they’re different from other kid,” Van Dam said, “And they could really benefit from counseling on that. And it might not be this year-long thing where they’re coming for 12 or 20 sessions. It could just be short and brief and it could just be a few different visits to be able to talk about their new diagnosis.”

Van Dam said, it’s rare for rural districts, but Pellston and Mancelona schools have had health care centers at the schools for years.

She said the other focus of the program is linking families to needed resources. She said the schools in Mancelona and Pellston were part of the $650,000 grant to promote an integrated model of healthcare in the school clinics. She said the new program is currently open and children and their families can visit year-round.

Van Dam says, it’s rare for rural districts, but Pellston and Mancelona schools have had health care centers at the schools for years.

For more information on services provided at the two healthcare centers, visit their website.