In July of 2022, the state legislature appropriated funds for a community health campus in an underserved area with a population of 30,000 to 31,000 – essentially, a grant that fit Clare County. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services awarded those funds to Complete Health Park, a Michigan nonprofit begun by Dave Coker of Clare. The funds were awarded to Complete Health Park and the grant period began on Dec. 1, 2022.
According to Coker, the Complete Health Park filed for 501(c)(3) non-profit status in December and still awaits approval of that IRS designation.
“I started it. Someone has to start it,” Coker said. “I immediately gave it away to the board of directors. I have no role in managing of the plan and as far as direction and decision making.”
Coker clarified that he is now the project manager through his consulting company IW Consulting LLC., one of the many companies now contracted to implement the health campus project. The Complete Health Park board has also hired FED Design/Build of Gladwin, McGuirk Sand and Gravel of Mount Pleasant, and other local contractors.
Coker also sought to clarify some points of confusion regarding the feasibility and sustainability study. The study was required to receive the grant.
“There are facts in the [feasibility] study, but there is no factual outcome,” he said. “You don’t know what’s really going to happen. We don’t have an exact cost of the facility. [For example] nobody would go out there and do borings for $50K until you knew you had the project. So, a project of this magnitude you have no idea what you’re getting into until you’re in it. The feasibility study we believe was pretty accurate, but it has changed and that’s fine as we keep working through the process.”
The minimum requirements of the grant require the facility to include an indoor pool, gymnasium and workout facilities, and those facilities provide access to “individuals earning less than 200% of the federal poverty level.” Coker said Complete Health Park is confident that can be accomplished with the $25 million in appropriated funds.
The Complete Health Park plans to take things a step further at the health campus and its goal is additional phases of the project. The organization seeks to include space for medical offices, a daycare, bowling alley, collegiate baseball and softball fields, mixed-use courts, soccer fields and more.
Moving forward as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) the organization will seek to secure investment and partners that fit into an integrated wellness facility including mental, physical, and behavioral services.
The statistics for Clare County certainly tell a story of higher-than-average death rates from cancer, diabetes and suicide, along with a high number of citizens living below the federal poverty level.
Complete Health Park purchased 68.72 acres for $3.65 million dollars (just over $50,000 an acre) north of the City of Clare in Grant Township. That space can be sold or leased once improved for future development of the health campus. The property location was deemed ideal as a large parcel of property near U.S. 10 and U.S. 127.
According to Coker, there is currently a board of three, plus three employees. Rob Sabisch is the facilities manager. Sabisch has experience as the Beaverton Department of Public Works director. Danielle Taylor is chief operating officer and Jake Leider is director of finance.
“We are expecting to take that board to somewhere between nine and 15 in the very near future,” Coker said. “We have always said four from Clare, four from Farwell, four from Harrison, one from Beaverton and one from Gladwin. This is not a Clare facility. We want this to be a community facility.
“Ideally, I hope Harrison, Clare and Farwell get involved in this project at some point in time. We are one community.”
Coker added that site excavation is planned to begin this month. A time lapse video of the work will be shared as well as more details as the project emerges. The process to apply for board membership will be announced in the near future. Questions, ideas or suggestions can be directed to email@example.com.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here