LANSING, Mich. — A new health center and pharmacy are in the works at the Allen Neighborhood Center.
“What we’re trying to do is present a one-stop-shop medical home designation for eastern Lansing residents,” said Kris Drake, executive director of Ingham County Community Health Centers.
The center will be located in a three-story, 10,000-square-foot building within the Allen Neighborhood Center complex that will house 21 apartment units on the top two floors.
The $750,000 joint project with the Ingham County Health Department will be paid for with federal money the county received as part of President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan.
The center will offer primary care, vaccine distribution, outreach to refugees, as well as clinical family and behavioral health services.
For Allen Neighborhood Center executive director Joan Nelson, the collaboration is a long time coming.
“Back in 2004, we had our first conversation with the health department about the possibility of a clinic located on this block,” said Nelson.
The out-of-state owner didn’t want to sell the complex building on the 1600 block of East Kalamazoo Street.
In 2018, as development on Allen Place, a mixed-use facility, was underway, the owner finally decided to sell the property to the Allen Neighborhood Center.
Nelson said her team immediately came back to the idea of using some of the commercial space for health services.
The location for the new health center was strategically selected, said Drake.
Although Sparrow Hospital is only a few blocks away, this health center is specifically designed to help an underserved population.
“There was a need for health services on the eastern side of the Lansing community,” Drake said.
Despite the significant amount of income diversity, 25 percent of the neighborhood is at or below poverty, said Nelson.
She said the partnership will add to the synergy that makes the Allen Neighborhood Center a community staple.
“Allen Neighborhood Center runs an outreach center where we enroll people in Ingham Health Plan, in Medicaid and ACA,” said Nelson. “One function of our enrollment site is to link people to a medical home. It would be very easy to send people next door.”
Officials involved with the project are aiming for a fall 2021 opening.
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