Oakland County community health clinics to receive millions in grant dollars

The Auburn Hills-headquartered community health center Easterseals is celebrating its selection as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic. The designation means $4 million in additional funding.

Easterseals, a national organization, has been in Michigan for 98 years. It has eight clinics in Oakland County and three elsewhere throughout southeastern Michigan. The grant money is designated for the Oakland County locations but no one will be turned away because of their residence.

The clinic's focus on mental health, substance abuse, autism, and trauma services for adults and children.

"This gives us the funding to do the things that we’ve always dreamed of doing before," says Brent Wirth, CEO of Easterseals Michigan.

The dreams of which he speaks include the ability to serve anybody, regardless of their residence, regardless of the level of care required, and regardless if they have insurance.

Wirth says that patients can now come to Easterseals without having to call their insurance companies first.

Easterseals will also use the grant to fund and develop a workforce that includes psychiatrists and telehealth professionals.

United States Senator Debbie Stabenow co-sponsored the bill that made the grant money possible. The funding becomes available on Jan. 1, 2019.

"Our mission is based on serving people at risk and with unmet needs. We’re always innovating, always finding ways to serve the community. We’ve been doing that for 100 years," Wirth says.

"We walk alongside the people that we serve."

Visit Easterseals Michigan online to out more about their services and clinic locations.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.