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Upton wins 2014 Community Health Champion Award

KALAMAZOO, Mich., October 28, 2014 | Lynn Turner / Nick Culp (269-385-0039 / 202-225-3761)
While recently visiting the Family Health Center’s main office in Kalamazoo, Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, was presented an award from the National Association of Community Health Centers Inc.

Denise Crawford, president and chief executive officer of the center, along with Dr. Allan Wilke, director of the Family Medicine Residency program of Western Michigan University’s School of Medicine, presented Upton with the 2014 Distinguished Community Health Champion Award “In grateful appreciation for your dedication and commitment during the First Session of the 113th Congress to strengthening and expanding access to vital primary health care services for America’s uninsured and medically underserved.”

The award is but a small token for how Fred has supported the Family Health Center’s mission, Crawford said.

“We’re glad we have Congressman Fred Upton representing our area,” Crawford said. "Fred has been here many times and is a friend of the health center. He really cares about our mission of providing a range of medical, dental and mental health services for our community members who otherwise couldn’t afford it.”

Wilke, whose medical students will get vital, supervised hands-on training in the health center, said he is thankful that Upton supported Western’s medical school as well as the needs of the most vulnerable in Southwest Michigan.

"It’s obvious that Fred cares about the people who work here and the people who come here for care,” Wilke said.  "I appreciate his support of the development of the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine and of our Family Medicine residency program at the Family Health Center.”

Upton said he was humbled by the award.

“People need to get medical treatments, dental screenings and other check-ups to make sure a small problem doesn’t turn into a big one,” Upton said. “Places like the Family Health Centers help the community in myriad ways. 

“These care givers are the angels among us and I applaud the work done here by staff, medical school students, doctors, volunteers and everyone else.”

The Family Health Center has seven locations throughout Kalamazoo and Portage to help low-income and homeless patients. It provides a range of services such as dental, family practice pediatrics, medical social work and emergency prescription assistance.

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