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Thunder Bay Community Health holds 35th anniversary celebration

News Photo by Julie Goldberg Left to right, founding board member Alvin Bartow, CEO Michelle Styma, and Vice Chair Ben Bolser celebrate the 35th anniversary for Thunder Bay Community Health Services, Inc.

HILLMAN — Thunder Bay Community Health Service, Inc. held a 35th anniversary celebration on Thursday to celebrate and reflect on its accomplishments.

The event paid tribute to the organization’s founding board members: Garnet Tripp, Janet Matthias, Henry Herlick, Sylvia Cummings, Vernetta Bailey, Isma Banks, Alvin Bartow, Frank Hendricks, Eva Smith, and Janine Wenzel.

“The event is to recognize 35 years of service,” CEO Michelle Styma said. “It’s also to pay tribute to our founding board members.”

The anniversary also paid tribute to many community board members who followed the founders throughout the years and also have helped the organization add sites and services for patients, remove barriers to health care, and increase access for patients.

“This is to take time to reflect and celebrate what has been accomplished,” Styma said. “We all work hard to continue to carry the mission that has been going on for the past 35 years.”

Thunder Bay Community Health has been providing health care services since 1982, beginning with the first clinic in Hillman. The founding board members had a vision starting in 1979 to bring health care services to the Hillman area.

The organization now operates six health centers and offers medical, pharmacy, x-ray, dental, behavioral health, and optical services to about 16,000 patients, along with offering behavioral health and dental services to 14 area schools in northern Michigan. The six locations are in Hillman, Atlanta, Rogers City, and Onaway, along with a health centers within Onaway and Cheboygan schools.

In its Rogers City, Atlanta, and Onaway locations, Thunder Bay operates in-house pharmacies that are open to the public.

“We provide all patient needs for primary care,” Styma said. “We help every patient as a whole and provided whatever every patient needs.”

The current board members represent each of the communities they serve, along with bringing expertise, knowledge, and community awareness to the board room every month.

Thunder Bay looks forward to the next 35 years where it plans to continue committing its resources to building healthier communities.

“Bringing medical services to Montmorency County was truly a grassroots effort,” Styma said. “I am excited to continue to grow and expand services to meet the needs of our communities.”

Thunder Bay is accepting new patients at all locations.

Julie Goldberg can be reached via email at jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688.

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