Northwest Michigan Health Services Inc
Did you know?
There are Five medical clinics in the NW Michigan dedicated specifically to providing medical care to
our migrant agricultural worker community? Not only is this most valuable news, it is vital that our
wine industry share this information to ensure that our workers get the best possible care they need.
The Northwest Michigan Health Services Inc (NMHSI) was initiated in 1968 to provide such
services to our migrant workers (and families), funded by the Federal Govt. Since then, the services
were expanded to non-migrant communities and funding sourced from a broader base – including the
State of Michigan and “pay-as-you-go”. There are now five clinics ranging from Shelby, MI along Lake
Michigan up to Traverse City, with Ludington, Manistee and Benzonia clinics in between.
These health care workers, and required resources, exist to ensure health care is available to
underserved communities, including our own farm workers. I recently visited the Traverse City clinic,
meeting with CEO Heidi Britton and Dir of Community Health, Tammy Sorensen.
Some key facts I learned:
✓ Medical Care available for the entire family: Primary Care, Physical Exams, Immunizations, Diabetic
Counseling, Acute & Chronic Conditions; Well Baby Check-ups, Women’s Health and Health Risks
✓ Dental Care: X-rays, Fillings, Cleanings, Dentures, Crowns & Bridges, other.
✓ Behavioral Health Services: Depression, Anxiety, Anger Mgmt, Alcohol & Substance Abuse Counseling,
Child & Family Issues, Stress Mgmt and other.
✓ Everyone is treated – staff assists in finding the right payment solutions, including gov’t assistance, private
insurance and sliding fee scale payment plan for qualified patients.
✓ Focus is on ACCESS for all who need the care: Extended hours at the clinics, 24/7 call service, mobile
clinics, pharmacy services, interpreter services (IMPORTANT) and more.
✓ Patient Support Services: Extended Access – times and mobile van, Translation/Interpretation from
Bilingual Staff, Transportation Assistance, Connection to Community Resources, and more.
✓ COVID 19: Tests given – 7,630 and growing, Vaccines administered – over 4,440
I need to tell you how impressed I was with the friendliness and total commitment to serving our
community’s needs as I met the staff and learned about the NMHSI. This is not an exception, of
course, to learn about the impressive qualities of our health care specialists, but it is eye-opening
when you see and hear it up-close and personal. We owe it to our valuable hard-working families to
ensure they know of these services, how to get access and transportation, as needed. Please pass
the word to other growers, owners, vineyard managers so we can ensure our teams are healthy and
are given access to quality health care they deserve, and to which the staff at NW Michigan Health
Services Inc are so much committed to serve. Noteworthy is that these services are not only limited to
NW Michigan; I’m told that there are other health clinics around the state which provide similar
services to our farming communities.
You can find one close to you by going to
Contact Information: – https://www.nmhsi.org
Phone: Traverse City Clinic: 231-947-0351; Benzonia Clinic: 231-383-4800; Manistee
Clinic: 231-398-2258; Shelby Clinic: 231-861-2130; Ludington Clinic: 231-316-1100
The above photo is of the medical care van, providing mobile service to farm locations in the region.
Give them a call to arrange a site visit, orientation, etc. What a valuable resource to our industry!
Spread the word!
MWC Board Member
Research & Education Committee
Traverse City Wine Grower