Mercy Health Announces Closing of Heartside Health Center at End of 2019

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN, November 8, 2019 – Mercy Health has announced that it is closing its Heartside Health Center at the end of the year.

Mercy Health Heartside Health Center, located at 359 S. Division Avenue, will see patients until December 20, 2019, and will be available to patients by phone until December 30. Patients were notified by mail in early November. Staff have been working with other local practices to plan for patient transitions, and are also calling patients, posting flyers in nearby facilities and informing patients who come into the office.

Heartside Health Center is helping all patients to choose a new provider and transfer their medical records to a nearby provider. To start the process, patients have been advised to do one of the following:

  • Visit com/find-a-doctor/
  • Call Heartside Health Center at 616.685.3800 to talk about where patients can receive future medical care.
  • Stop by the Health Center to speak with a staff person directly.
  • If the patient already has an appointment scheduled before December 20 (last day of scheduled appointments), ask about future care at that time.

Patients can request their medical records at any time by calling 616.685.3180.

Earlier this year, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s five Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) hosted site visitors from Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). HRSA lauded the high quality of care, but stated that it is no longer able to overlook non-compliance with governance-related requirements that Saint Mary’s cannot meet and, as a result, HRSA will discontinue about $4 million of annual government grant funding to these clinics within the next several months.

“Since learning that HRSA will discontinue their funding, our leadership has been focused on ways to provide continued care for our patients and optimize retention of government funding for some of the most vulnerable of the community’s populations,” said Hyung T. Kim, MD, MBA, president of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. “Closing Heartside Health Center and partnering with other organizations in the Heartside Neighborhood is an important part of the plan to accomplish those goals.”

“We are fortunate to be in a community where there are other FQHCs and community organizations in our immediate area that are excited to receive our patients and serve as their new medical home,” said Kristen Brown, MD, president of Mercy Health Physician Partners. “We’ve been working with our patients since October to help them transition their care to another provider.”

The broader plan for the remaining clinics was developed as part of a formal discernment process, which allows the other four FQHCs to remain open after being converted as follows:

  • Browning Claytor, located at 1246 Madison Ave. SE in Grand Rapids, will remain open and continue to serve the Southeast Community Association and Madison Area neighborhoods of Grand Rapids and beyond. The clinic will become a sustainable, primary care outpatient department of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, operated by its medical group, Mercy Health Physician Partners.
  • Clinica Santa Maria, located at 730 Grandville Ave. SW in Grand Rapids, will remain open and continue to serve Roosevelt Park and neighboring communities. It will likely do so as part of an existing FQHC in Grand Rapids, which has yet to be determined. This transition will include the addition of on-site dental services. Mercy Health’s commitment to Plaza Roosevelt will continue with pharmacy and lab services.
  • For synergy and sustainability, dental services may transfer from the present location of Mercy Health Dental Clinic, currently located at 781 36th Street SE in Grand Rapids, to Clinica Santa Maria and likely to the local FQHC of which it may become a part.
  • In association with Mercy Health Lakeshore, Sparta Health Clinic, located at 475 State St. in Sparta, will become a Rural Health Clinic operated by Mercy Health Physician Partners. Sparta will continue with its contract to serve migrant workers.

Each year, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s provides nearly $50 million in uncompensated benefit to the Grand Rapids community.  The additional funding from the HRSA grant helped provide important resources to serve these vulnerable patients.  Mercy Health is committed to working with its community partners to optimize retention of government funding for some of the most vulnerable of the community’s populations.

“As our community and its health care needs evolve, our mission has always stayed the same: Improving the health of our community – especially for those who are most vulnerable,” said Kim. “We continue to invest in our communities with programming, education and health care services, provided in compassionate and innovative care settings.”

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About Mercy Health and Mercy Health Physician Partners

Mercy Health is a regional, multi-campus, Catholic health care system serving West Michigan and the lakeshore with four hospital campuses, more than 90 physician offices, more than 1,300 medical staff physicians, more than 800 hospital beds and more than 9,000 colleagues, and hospice, home health and long-term care service offerings. Mercy Health Physician Partners, our multi-specialty medical group, employs more than 800 physicians and advanced practice professionals in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Holland and the lakeshore. Mercy Health has annual operating revenues of about $1.4 billion and returns about $80 million to its communities annually through charity care and community benefit programs. Mercy Health, a member of Trinity Health, is committed to being a trusted health partner for life, transforming the communities we serve, by providing high-quality care that is the most accessible, compassionate and personalized in West Michigan. Visit us at MercyHealth.com.

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