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December 9, 2020: Safety Net Health Care Appreciation Day

WHEREAS, Michigan is home to more than 500 safety net health clinics, including free clinics, federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, tribal health centers, and academic and other public and private safety net clinics; and,


WHEREAS, these safety net clinics are created by civic-minded individuals, health care professionals and systems, and churches and other community organizations who recognize there are many individuals and families in need of timely access to health care services; and,   


WHEREAS, According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan has fewer uninsured residents and more doctors, dentists, and mental health care providers than most other states, but many people still struggle with social and economic conditions that lead to poor health and experience racial and ethnic health disparities including limited access to care and poor health; and,


WHEREAS, some people in Michigan are not able to see a doctor despite needing to, due to costs, and people with a usual source of health care generally have better health outcomes with fewer health disparities and lower costs; and,  


WHEREAS, Michigan safety net health care providers serve an estimate 1,000,000 Michiganders annually, most in rural and underserved parts of our state, and provide essential medical, dental, and behavioral health care, including prevention, for people and communities in need throughout the state; and,    


WHEREAS, Michigan safety net clinics also address patients’ needs outside of clinical care such as access to food, medication, or social services; and,


WHEREAS, the above mentioned clinics greatly reduce the cost of health care for many patients, as seeking care in an emergency room is a much greater cost to the patients, their families, and their communities; and,


WHEREAS, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan safety net health care has provided essential medical services, medication, and resources to countless individuals, including those uninsured, underinsured, and of low-income, ensuring their health and well-being;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim December 9, 2020, as Safety Net Health Care Appreciation Day in Michigan to recognize the commitment and generosity of those who work in Michigan safety net clinics.