Cherry Health Draws Praise from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

November 8, 2018 (Grand Rapids, MI) – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has recognized Cherry Health with its 2018 Quality Improvement Award. In addition, HRSA has also awarded a $302,000 grant to Cherry Health as part of a national strategy to combat the opioid crisis by expanding access to integrated substance use disorder and mental health services.

Cherry Health is an independent, non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with a primary focus of providing high quality health services to those who have little or no access to health care, regardless of income or insurance status. Cherry Health was recognized by HRSA for achieving best overall clinical performance among ALL health centers, placing in the top 30 percent among 1,400 health centers in the United States.

“We are honored to be recognized,” said Tasha Blackmon, Cherry Health’s chief executive officer. “This achievement is a tribute to the dedication and teamwork of our more than 900 employees, physicians and partners who continually strive to deliver high quality health services to the West Michigan region.”

Cherry Health services include primary care, women’s health, pediatrics, dental, vision, behavioral health, mental health, correctional health, five school based health centers and employee assistance for employers. Cherry Health provides services to all individuals, and a sliding fee payment scale based on income and family size is available to those without insurance. In the U.S. there are nearly 1,400 health centers that operate in more than 11,000 delivery sits providing primary health care to every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Pacific Basin.

The $302,000 HRSA grant awarded to Cherry Health is part of its Five-Point Opioid Strategy, launched last year to empower local communities on the frontlines of the national epidemic. “The funds will further enhance Cherry Health’s treatment programs,” said Julie Tatko, Cherry Health’s chief operations officer for substance abuse.

“Community health centers like Cherry Health play an important role in local efforts to address the opioid epidemic. Here in West Michigan we are on the front lines of the epidemic and have become an important source of treatment for those with opioid addictions,” Tatko said. “We believe that with the proper treatment program and therapy, we can help those addicted to opiates live independent and fulfilling lives.”

About Cherry Health

Established in 1988, Cherry Health is the largest FQHC in the State of Michigan serving Barry, Eaton, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon, Ottawa and Wayne counties. Providing integrated health care services at more than 20 locations throughout Michigan, Cherry Health employs approximately 900 employees and a network of over 60 physicians and mid-level providers specializing in primary care/family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, optometry, oral health, behavioral health and substance use disorders. Additionally, Cherry Health runs a school linked program active in 70 public schools offering both vision and dental care.