Community Health of Thunder Bay Celebrates 40 Years | News, Sports, Jobs

Courtesy Photo Pictured, from left, are: Brandon Kargol of U.S. Representative Jack Bergman’s office; Ben Bolser, Chair of the Board of Directors of Thunder Bay Community Health Services; Mike Wurtsmith, TBCHS Board Member; and Michelle Styma, CEO of TBCHS.

ALPENA – For the past 40 years, the Community Health Department of Thunder Bay has proudly provided northeast Michigan with access to primary health care.

Along the way, TBCHS has grown, providing services at five primary care clinics in Hillman, Atlanta, Rogers City, Onaway, and Fairview, and extending primary care and behavioral health services to students at 20 local schools in six counties in partnership with two educational service districts.

Not only has Thunder Bay expanded into new service areas over the past 40 years, they have also expanded their service offerings to include pharmacy, behavioral health, dental, optometry, substance use and medication assisted treatment, laboratory and radiology services, psychiatry, internal medicine, insurance enrollment assistance programs, community health worker services, care management and various telehealth options.

To mark this exciting occasion, TBCHS celebrated with an outdoor event at the clinic where it all started at Hillman. TBCHS was delighted to have the opportunity to welcome staff, families, patients, community partners, legislative representatives and the many others who have supported their mission over the years to recognize the growth and impact of the organization and set intentions for the future of Thunder Bay as well.

“Thunder Bay Community Health Service could not have become the organization it is today without great and dedicated staff, administrators and community partnerships throughout its history. One of the areas of growth I’m most proud of is the school-based health services we’ve been able to provide to children and students across Northeast Michigan,” said Ben Bolser, Board Chair of administration of TBCHS.

At the celebration, food was provided by Nowicki’s Sausage Shoppe, ice cream by 32 Below and music by Steve Rea, all compliments of TBCHS. Children were invited to join their parents and have fun with a chalk and bubble area in the parking lot of the Hillman Clinic.

Bolser, along with TBCHS CEO Michelle Styma and members of the Board of Directors hosted a dedication and ceremony to recognize Thunder Bay’s history and mission and express hopes for the future.

“I am proud of Thunder Bay and the incredible growth we have experienced over the past 40 years to focus on our mission of building healthier communities. I look forward to our years to come and the excellent services our organization will continue to provide in our Northern Michigan communities,” Styma said.

At the inauguration, Alvin Bartow was present and recognized as a founding member of TBCHS. The ceremony concluded with a Congressional Commendation presented by Brandon Kargol of Congressman Jack Bergman’s office. Tom Kochheiser, director of member services for the Michigan Primary Care Association, presented an award in recognition of Thunder Bay’s 40th anniversary.

From the beginning, the mission of the Community Health Department of Thunder Bay has been to commit its resources to building healthier communities in northeast Michigan. They are honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to continue improving the health of our communities for another 40 years and beyond.

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