Published: Nov. 13, 2012

MSU and partners earn award for improving health care in Michigan

Contact(s): Andy McGlashen Media Communications office: (517) 355-2281

Michigan State University and regional partners have been recognized for a project to strengthen Michigan’s health care workforce.

The Lansing Community Primary Care/Mental Health Co-Location Project – a collaborative effort that includes the MSU Colleges of Human Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine and Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine, among other organizations – received this year’s Building Michigan’s Healthcare Award for Community or Regional Collaboration from the Michigan Health Council.

The award recognizes organizations and educators who are designing and implementing creative approaches to recruit and retain a skilled and diverse health care workforce in Michigan.

The project is a regional collaborative effort that has brought together several health service organizations to offer much-needed primary care services to patients with chronic mental illness and psychiatric services to primary care patients.

The project established a primary care clinic at Community Mental Health in Lansing, and has enabled Sparrow Health System to add psychiatric care at two of its Family Health Centers.

Perhaps the most innovative aspect of the project is its educational component, according to Karen Blackman, a professor in MSU’s Department of Family Medicine.

“We are including new doctors in residency programs in psychiatry and family medicine in the co-location project, to give them experiences in each other’s settings and to promote collaboration among the specialties,” said Blackman. “The hope is that these experiences will set the stage for a more collaborative workforce in the future.”

Other project partners include Ingham County Health Department, Community Mental Health – Clinton, Eaton, & Ingham Counties, and the Michigan State University/Sparrow Family Medicine Residency Program.

The Michigan Health Council presented the award at its annual luncheon Nov. 13.