Saline Is Looking For More Medical Options

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Saline is reliant on Ann Arbor for the vast majority of its medical needs and supplementing it with more homegrown medical options has become a top priority of local leaders. That is why at the last city council meeting, the city voted to create a committee to establish what healthcare solution would best fit Saline’s needs, and to see how the city could go about getting it.

“This is Saline City Council’s task force, but it is not going to just be us. We are going to reach out and partner with all of the townships; Milan, Clinton [and] Manchester,” Saline City Councilor Dawn Krause told the Sun Times News.

The committee met for the first time on the last Monday evening of March. In addition to the Chairwoman, Councilor Dawn Krause – and two other Councilors Dell’Orco and Ceo – to appointed members of the public. These un-elected members were appointed by Krause through her contacts in the medical professions. Krause said she picked them for their diversity, their wide geographic spread through the neighboring townships and through their wide-ranging expertise in various medical sectors.

But just what the city will bring to Saline is still unknown. The first step of this committee will be setting up a community survey to ask the public what is needed. This could be anything from a 24 hour urgent care, to attracting general practitioners, to attracting specialist physicians like pediatricians, dentists and chiropractors. The survey is expected to be out for the public’s consideration towards the end of spring.

City officials have emphasized since the possibility of forming the committee was brought up that the new medical venue is intended to increase medical access for everyone across southern Washtenaw County, not just Saline. This survey would take into account the geographic spread of the community, the types of populations southern Washtenaw County has – age, disability status and so on – as well as the types of healthcare options people in the area want.

The city is working under the assumption that Saline’s centralized location makes it an obvious location for a new location to spread out the geography of medical options beyond just Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti. But depending on the findings the committee ends up with next year, it could be established elsewhere.

“I would consider it a win,” Marl said. He added that if there were to be any sort of expansion of healthcare in the Saline area, within the next two years. “As long as it’s accessible to my constituents.”

All options will be on the table over the course of this 12 to 18 month long process. The committee will begin conversations with health providers who have a presence in Michigan; like the U of M Medical system, IHA, Henry Ford Hospital or Pro Medica. Even if the project stays on schedule, it remains to be seen how quickly a new medical option is actually provided to Saline, however. But the ball is rolling.

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