MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. — Employees and patients are searching for answers after Muskegon Family Care suddenly shut down on Friday, Feb. 14. Over a dozen community members gathered on Saturday for a rally to keep the care facility open.
Muskegon Family Care is the second-largest employer in Muskegon Heights and serves thousands of patients. According to MFC's website, it provides medical, dental, behavioral health, women's health, and pharmacy services to patients regardless of their ability to pay.
Anthony Cargill, a 10-year patient with MFC, said he was disappointed in the lack of planning and transparency around the closure.
"If they knew this was going down, why didn’t get give us a heads up? Why do I have to find out through other people rather then send out a letter," he asked.
Cargill started attending MFC after searching for an organization that would take his insurance.
"I lost my SHOP insurance, and then I was on Priority Health, and I lost my doctor, my pharmacist, my chiropractor and my dentist and they’d take my insurance. So they’d take my insurance where others wouldn’t," he explained.
Cargill said MFC shutting down will make it more difficult for those who can't otherwise afford healthcare.
"Where am I going to go from here? Are we going to bombard Hackley Community Care with this? With all these people? Because that’s a lot of people, so you’re bogging the system down for poor people," he said.
The facility treats about 20,000 patients, according to State Rep. Terry Sabo, D-Muskegon.
While Cargill said he wants answers about his medical records, employees are figuring out the next steps in their careers.
"This is my best job I’ve ever had. I’ve been practicing for 30 some years, and I want to retire from here." said Kathy Rosema, a Family Practice Physician for MFC. "Many of our staff live in this community supporting their families. So we’re all not sure where we’re going and where the patients are going, just a lot of uncertainty."
An employee with Muskegon Family Care sent 13 ON YOUR SIDE this email that was sent to the staff on Feb. 14 from interim CEO Mitze Alexander.
The message explains that MFC had been going through financial issues over the past several months and was denied advanced funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration. Despite receiving its 2020 award from the HRSA and incoming revenue, Alexander said it would be difficult to meet the past due and current debts.
In the email Alexander continued to say MFC's decision makers didn't have "all the answers as of yet," and asked employees to continue providing adequate care for their patients throughout the day.
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