LEELANAU COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) --In 1968, Northwest Michigan Health Services became the first health center for migrant workers in Michigan and the entire country.
This year, the organization is celebrating its 50th anniversary with 2-million-dollars-worth of renovations to it's Traverse City facility, something it needed to meet the increasing demand of its patients.
"We've heard it both from our users as well as our staff how amazingly different this building is and how new it is."
Though created specifically for migrant workers, it now serves everyone in the community with medical, dental, and now behavioral health needs.
"Due to changes to the community at large and the expansion of our services down to Shelby, Michigan, we now serve everyone, both migrant and non-migrant. In 2012, we opened up for the whole community to come and access our services."
The renovations were funded through a million-dollar federal grant from Human Resources Service Administration and another million from USDA Rural Development, allowing for some unused office spaces in the building to be converted into additional exam rooms; 2 for medical and 2 for dental.
"There were a lot of doors, there were not as many exam rooms, probably more offices than exam rooms, and we needed more exam rooms than offices. We needed a waiting room that was patient-friendly, community-friendly, so that everyone in the waiting room was either here for medical, dental, or behavioral health, so to reduce stigmas and create an environment where we really are here for our patients."