Cassopolis Family Clinic buys county building, plans expansion in Niles

Published 11:01 am Wednesday, March 9, 2022

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CASSOPOLIS — A local network of health care providers is expanding.

The Cassopolis Family Clinic Network, provider of healthcare needs for nearly 13,000 patients in Cass and Berrien counties, announced this week it has purchased the former Van Buren/Cass District Health Department building, 201 M-62, Cassopolis, for $300,000. It has also announced a $2.4 million expansion of the Niles Community Health Center, 1951 Oak St.

The purchase of the former health department building was announced Aug. 5, 2021, but the purchase was delayed until January, according to the CFCN website. The building, which was built in 1991, was most recently home to the Cass County Parole/Probation Office.

“I was with the health department when we built that building,” said Cass County Board of Commissioners Chair Skip Dyes, last August. “Now the county has optimized that building by selling it to the clinic. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

Founded in 1964, the Cassopolis Family Clinic Network is a nonprofit, community-based health center that provides comprehensive primary and preventive health care and social services to medically underserved individuals and families regardless of their ability to pay. According to the CFCN, the Cass County site is projected to be operational later this year.

“We anticipate using this office space to create a care management program which will assist our primary care providers in taking care of patients,” said CFCN CEO Mary Middleton.  “We appreciate the Cass County Board of Commissioners’ willingness to allow us to acquire this facility, which sits adjacent to our health center.”

In Niles, groundbreaking is planned for later this month for construction of a 6,300-square foot addition to the medical wing at Niles Community Health Center, which opened in 2014.

“It’s amazing that so soon after the completion of this facility in 2019 that we need more space,” Middleton said. “Due to the growth in our Substance Use Treatment program, we’re moving the SUT team from the behavioral health wing into the medical wing.  We consider substance use disorder to be a chronic disease that people live with. Primary care providers treat many types of chronic diseases, including addiction.”

Planning for the expansion of NCHC started in summer 2021, according to CFCN.

“Our mission, ‘To provide access to patient-centered healthcare to people in our communities,’ and our work, to which we are all dedicated, is locally directed by our very own Board of Directors, who are members of the communities we serve,” Middleton said. “At least 51 percent of board membership must be people who themselves use our services, and know what it’s like to get their care at our health center.”