Muskegon Family Care – Our Early History
The Getty Street Clinic was originally built by Dale Williams, M.D. and opened for business on March 3, 1973 under the name Koinonia (pronounced coin-a-knee'-uh) Medical Center. Koinonia is a Greek word meaning "fellowship," "working together," or "helping one another." Dr. Williams, a visionary thinker with a background as a medical missionary, desired to treat Medicaid recipients and the poor of the community. The clinic offered 24 hour service, with staff utilizing an apartment in the clinic basement, and Dr. Williams was ahead of his time in his approach of incorporating behavioral health, addressing social needs of his patients and using mid-level providers. There were periods of political upheaval and near bankruptcy, and at one time the staff worked without pay to keep the clinic open. Dr. Williams sold the clinic to Mercy Hospital and retired in 1993. His efforts to serve unmet health needs continue to this date – through his Koinonia Foundation (www.kfaid.com) and his missionary work in Africa.
Mercy Hospital named the clinic Mercy Family Care Center and continued with its mission to treat the poor and underserved. In August 1998, Mercy Family Care was placed under the umbrella of MGH Family Health Center as an additional site for this federally qualified health center look-alike. MGH Family Health Center began doing business as Muskegon Family Care in November 2000.
In June 2005 the Getty Clinic of Muskegon Family Care (as it came to be known) moved from 2345 S. Getty (the original site of Dr. Dale Williams' Koinonia Clinic) to 2201 S. Getty, a brand new, state-of-the-art facility.
MGH Family Health Center – MFC Oak Avenue Clinic
The Oak Clinic began in 1989 as Muskegon General Hospital's family practice residency clinic. Housed on Wagner Avenue, behind General Hospital for many years, the site was home to a three-year osteopathic medicine training program in which residents earned their specialty in family practice medicine. Over the course of the training program, residents spend an increasing amount of time in the clinic and see an increasingly complex mix of patients as they progress in their education. The residents work under the direction of an attending physician, bringing the latest in healthcare knowledge to the care of their patients. As one resident described the model to a patient, "It is two minds working to make you healthier."
The MGH Family Health Center / residency clinic served an important role in the community – serving a mix of Medicaid patients and those without insurance. In 1997, under the direction of David Dora, D.O., the clinic sought and was granted status as a federally qualified health center look-alike, meaning that it had special designation and reimbursement to serve the underserved patients in the community. Along with this status, the center developed its own Board of Directors, organizational policies and procedures, and transitioned employment for its staff from Mercy General Health Partners to the MGH Family Health Center. In March, 2001 the Family Health Center Clinic moved from a 1,600 square foot structure with 9 exam rooms to an 11,500 square foot facility with 20 exam rooms located on the fourth floor of the Muskegon General Campus of Mercy General Health Partners (MGHP) at 1700 Oak Avenue.
Maternal Infant Health Services
The Maternal / Infant Support Services Program originated as a program of the Muskegon County Health Department, and became part of Muskegon General Hospital in 1995. MSS/ISS joined the MGH Family Health Center organization and relocated to the Getty Clinic site in the spring of 1999.
In December of 2000, Muskegon Family Care opened a 6-chair dental clinic in the garden level of 1700 Oak Avenue (Muskegon General Hospital) in response to overwhelming community need for oral health access for uninsured and Medicaid patients. One additional dental chair was included in the new building at the Getty Clinic with its opening in June 2005. In spring of 2006, four more dental chairs were added at the Oak Avenue Clinic.
Dr. Dale Williams
Koinonia Medical Clinic / Mercy Family Care Center
Getty Clinic of Muskegon Family Care
Oak Clinic of Muskegon Family Care
David Dora, D.O.