BMIC receives USDA loan to construct new health center

BAY MILLS — Bay Mills Indian Community has been approved for funding to construct the new Bay Mills Health Center. BMIC Tribal Chairman Bryan Newland recently received notice that the tribe’s U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Rural Development Loan application has been approved for $6 million.

Officials from BMIC have been laying the groundwork for the project throughout the last year, with the assistance of the Indian Health Service. The health center will be located in the heart of the reservation, near the Tribal Justice Center. The grounds for the project were cleared last year. DSGW of Duluth, Minnesota, designed the new facility, with input from tribal leaders and health center staff. The firm has developed tribal health centers throughout the Great Lakes region.

Bidding the project out is the next step. Once a contractor is selected, a timeline for groundbreaking and completion will be determined.

Plans for the 34,660-square-foot building include the potential of adding new services such as optometry and chiropractic.

“This facility will allow us to improve the wellness of our community, and create new career opportunities for our tribal citizens here at home. It will also allow us to collaborate with public universities and other agencies to learn how to improve the delivery of wellness services in Indian Country,” said Newland.

Bay Mills Health Center provides medical, dental, and mental health services to both tribal and non-tribal individuals throughout the county.

The overall goal of the new facility is to expand integrated health care services, which include preventative care, traditional medicine, medical, dental, and mental health care, substance abuse treatment, and pharmacy services.

“The ongoing coronavirus pandemic reinforces the urgency of addressing health needs in our community. The new Bay Mills Health Center will be a cornerstone of our tribe’s development for the next generation,” added Newland.

BMHC is one of only a few dental providers that currently accept Medicaid in Chippewa County. BMHC also provides services to more than 10 percent of the population in the local area.

Source: Bay Mills News

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