Government, Health Care, and Real Estate

Health system closing downtown clinic

November 8, 2019
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Mercy Health Heartside Health Center partial exterior
Photo via mercyhealth.com

A health system is closing a clinic downtown at the end of this year.

Mercy Health’s Heartside Health Center in Grand Rapids, at 359 S. Division Ave., will see patients until Dec. 20 and be available to patients by phone until Dec. 30, according to the system.

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 fliers in nearby facilities and informing patients who come into the office.

Heartside Health Center is helping all patients choose a new provider and transfer their medical records.

The clinic is closing due to the end of a federal funding source.

The federal Health Resources & Services Administration agency — which provides funding for Mercy Health Saint Mary's five Federally Qualified Health Centers — earlier this year informed the health system it is no longer able to overlook non-compliance of governance-related requirements that Saint Mary's cannot meet.

As a result, the agency will discontinue about $4 million of annual government grant funding to these clinics within the next several months, including the Hearthside clinic.

Mercy Health plans to keep the other four clinics open by partnering with other organizations and/or restructuring: including Browning Claytor, at 1246 Madison Ave. SE in Grand Rapids; Clinica Santa Maria, at 730 Grandville Ave. SW in Grand Rapids; and Sparta Health Clinic, at 475 State St. in Sparta.

Services of the Mercy Health Dental Clinic in Wyoming, at 781 36th St. SE, may transfer to Clinica Santa Maria.

“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 Dr. Kristen Brown, president, Mercy Health Physician Partners.

"We've been working with our patients since October to help them transition their care to another provider."

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