The decision from a local health department plans to stop servicing several rural health clinics in Saginaw County.
So just where does that leave the residents who rely on those services?
Mary Vanloon is a volunteer at the Rehmann Health Center in Chesaning.
It’s one of five rural clinics set to lose WIC services and immunizations provided by the Saginaw County Health Department.
The county also plans to discontinue those same services at locations in Birch Run, Frankenmuth, Hemlock, and St. Charles.
“We’ve had a good working relationship with the nurses that come out,” Vanloon said. “And maybe in the future they’ll be able to resume. I just don’t know what that future holds.”
TV5 did reach out to the Director of Saginaw County Department of Public Health. She wasn’t available for an on-camera interview, but she said off-camera that she understands some people might be upset about this move, but it all comes down to money.
Christina Harrington said due to budget constraints she doesn’t have the staff to send to these locations.
As of now it is unclear exactly when services at these five clinics will stop.
She says this is the beginning of a transition where the vast majority of services provided by the Health Department will be done as its main office in Saginaw, but Harrington says they will try to offer occasional community clinics in the future and one day hopes to be able to restore rural services.
Something Mary Vanloon insists is desperately needed.
“The community has supported this building and we’re hoping that we can continue to make use of it to really meet the needs of the community in variety of other ways,” Vanloon said.