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Rural Health Information Hub

McKenzie Memorial Hospital

  • Project Title: McKenzie Substance Abuse Recovery Program
  • Grant Period: RCORP-MAT Grantee (09/2019 – 08/2022)
  • Program Representative Interviewed: Billi Jo Hennika, COO
  • Location: Sandusky, Michigan
  • Program Overview: The McKenzie Substance Abuse Recovery Program provides medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services through two of their six primary care clinics in rural Michigan. The primary care offices are part of McKenzie Health System, which also includes McKenzie Memorial Hospital — a Critical Access Hospital (CAH). The CAH developed the first Michigan Oxy-Free Emergency Department due to the ever rising opioid crisis across the country. MAT services were the next step in providing necessary services to the community.

    Prior to developing the program, McKenzie Memorial Hospital conducted a community needs assessment to identify existing services and gaps in service delivery in the local community. The program partnered with local organizations, such as Sanilac County Community Mental Health, and the health department, as well as providers that could offer expertise to the program, Ascension Brighton Center for Recovery and Seton Healthcare.

    McKenzie Memorial Hospital has three MAT-waivered providers and focuses on providing medication prescriptions, case management, and connection to services. The program has trained providers on how to provide MAT services, as well as the importance of harm reduction and keeping patients enrolled in the program regardless of relapse. McKenzie refers patients to program partners, who provide inpatient programs, telehealth psychiatry, behavioral health therapy, and group therapy services. The program has also partnered with the county jail to help people who are incarcerated and receiving MAT services enter directly into the MAT program when they are discharged from jail. Development of an ED Bridge Program is a major goal.

    Program leadership at McKenzie Memorial Hospital meet monthly with program partners at Ascension Brighton Center for Recovery to review caseloads and discuss success stories. Program leadership meet monthly and share best practices with other grantees in the state of Michigan through the Michigan Center for Rural Health.

Models represented by this program: