KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University is slated to receive a $1.5 million state appropriation for its Unified Clinics, a multi-specialty group practice that annually serves more than 5,000 patients in Southwest Michigan and beyond and operates under the auspices of the University's College of Health and Human Services.
State Sen. Margaret O'Brien, who was instrumental in securing the funding, formally announced the allocation during a news conference Tuesday, Oct.2.
“WMU’s Unified Clinics provides invaluable health care services to some of Southwest Michigan’s most underserved,” O’Brien says. “I advocated for needed funding to ensure the University can provide the best possible care for its clients, many of which are children. Kalamazoo area residents should be proud to have such a great organization in our backyard.”
The Unified Clinics is a collective of 10 specialty teaching clinics that provide an array of services, including autism evaluation, behavioral health services, child-trauma assessment, hearing treatment, low-vision services, occupational therapy, speech therapy and women's health services. WMU student practitioners and supervising professionals provide the care and treatment.
Affordability is a major need for the clinics' patients. Through this practice, thousands of Michigan residents receive treatment that is, in some cases, unavailable elsewhere, may not be covered by insurance or is unaffordable through other providers.
The services help children and families struggling with often chronic physical and psychological conditions that negatively affect health and quality of life.
"What's special about the clinics is that they provide these really essential services that other entities might not be able to provide, and they're addressing these unmet needs," says Dr. Carol Sundberg, Unified Clinics director.
"We have been recognized by our patients in the community as a safety net," she says.
Read stories about Unified Clinics’ patients and practitioners in the WMU Magazine.
For more WMU news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.