Mount Clemens: Where Spiritual and Physical Care Meet

Apr 12, 2022

Mitchell Blair, lifelong resident of Macomb County, receives medical care from Community First Health Centers' mobile clinic.

“When a grandma and her two grandchildren who have been out on the streets for a while finally make it into a homeless shelter, monitoring her diabetes or blood pressure isn’t really top of mind. We’re partnering with The Salvation Army so we can make sure more people get the medical care they need.”

This was how Sarah Gilstorf, Outreach Program Manager for Community First Health Centers, described the new partnership between The Salvation Army Mount Clemens Worship & Community Center and Community First Health Centers. On every second Friday of the month from 11 am to 1 pm, Community First Health Centers will have its mobile healthcare unit in the Mount Clemens center’s parking lot. The unit is open to the public and specifically focused on serving those who have Medicare, Medicaid, or no insurance at all.

Through the mobile unit, healthcare is given by a nurse practitioner, who can perform physical exams, prescribe medications, and refer patients who need more specialized care.

“We’ve had a nurse go out to the MATTS Shelter on 9 Mile and Mound for many years, but we wanted to do more,” said Amy Labuhn, Outreach Coordinator for the mobile medical unit. “This project has taken more than a year to put into action, and we are very excited to partner with The Salvation Army and engage people who are homeless or low income to access primary care.”

The mobile unit also provides vaccines and welcomes all from the community, including seniors. With the Mount Clemens Worship & Community Center serving as a central location where people already access a variety of social services, the mobile health unit will be available as another service people can partake of.

Major (pastor) Barbara Owen, left, speaks with Sarah Gilstorf, Outreach Program Manager for Community First Health Centers.

“We’re here to build trust with the community and break down the barriers that have kept people from getting medical care,” said Gilstorf. “By treating people with kindness and respect, we want to show them that we are here to help.”

April 8 marked the first day of services provided by the mobile unit. Mitchell Blair, a senior citizen, was among those who accessed care and was able to refill a prescription and check his blood pressure.

“I’ve been coming to The Salvation Army in Mount Clemens for years. It’s really nice. I think everyone should come here and get all kinds of help, medical help included,” said Blair. “I completed the Harbor Light program for drugs and alcohol, and it has helped me get my life together. When people ask about The Salvation Army, this is what I tell them: come to God, and God will help you. That’s what I’ve found here.”

Major (pastor) Barbara Owen of the Mount Clemens Worship & Community Center is on site for the mobile healthcare unit as well, providing spiritual care and connectivity to other resources available.

“People in our community need better access to healthcare,” said Owen. “Whether you have health insurance or not, we can help you here, no matter what your income level. We’re providing this resource to show our neighbors the love of God."

Mobile medical services will be available on the second Friday of each month. To schedule an appointment, please call 586-552-8333.

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