Staying Vigilant 

Changing Lives July 2020

Healthcare Heroes at Work

“I hear a lot of stories from patients all day. I’ve heard lots of tears and comforted a lot of patients with increased anxiety. One patient with cancer is too afraid to go out and appreciates the telehealth option. Another patient thanks me for keeping a form of communication open for her to get her counseling. There are lots of lives that we affect and help. Most patients just need someone to vent to. I help set up the calls with the doctor and some patients just pour it out to me.”

– Samantha Wager, medical assistant 

Listen to Stories of Lives Changed

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues on, we must all stay vigilant to continue to protect our communities. Accessible testing and education are key – in our neighborhoods, churches and businesses. Great Lakes Bay Health Centers are providing these crucial services and outreach. 

For our staff at daily testing sites, increasing demand means working for hours in gowns and masks while standing on hot pavement next to hot vehicles to gather demographic and insurance information. This is hard work and will require hiring additional staff to keep the testing going. Hours have shifted earlier to deal with the heat.

  • Daily testing sites at our Saginaw, Bay City and Bad Axe health centers have seen increasing numbers of people over the last several weeks, with about 6 percent of tests positive. 
  • We have tested hundreds of people at popup events in vulnerable neighborhoods and at farms with our migrant health team. Our daily sites have totaled nearly 7,300 tests collected since late March. 
  • The next neighborhood pop-up testing event is July 14 at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Fliers for this event are going out around Saginaw to spread the word. Student volunteers from SVSU and Davenport University are making this event possible alongside our medical staff. 

Great Lakes Bay Health Centers migrant health mobile team answered the call for immediate COVID-19 testing at farms in Lapeer County where workers were facing a cluster of cases. The next day this team was trained and tested 121 workers at the first farm. Migrant farm workers are at higher risk living in crowded housing units and traveling by bus together.  

  • “I’m glad we are doing this outreach to communicate with the workers. They have no knowledge of this virus. We are doing a lot of education,” said Jesse Costilla, GLBHC Migrant Program Manager. “Many of them didn’t want the test but after the farmer got right in line with them, that helped. We are handing out sanitation kits with masks and translated information.”

Most importantly, our centers are safely bringing patients back to care and encouraging them to call for any services they delayed. Face-to-face visits are increasing along with continued telehealth, which now accounts for about 35 percent of visits. We are hiring additional staff to screen patients coming for visits. 
Eye care, dental care, physical therapy, alternative pain management, mammography, laboratory, nutrition services and more are back in business. We are here to help patients manage their medical and behavioral health to keep them safe and healthy.

You Can Help Change Lives Now

You can help make sure that your neighbors – including the most vulnerable people in our communities – have safe access to all medical, dental, behavioral health and supporting services. Spread the word that coming back for regular healthcare is essential. A financial gift will help to ensure all services are available and support ongoing COVID safety, testing and outreach. Please donate online or contact Fund Development Coordinator Jill Armentrout at to find out about other ways to give. Thank you for the meals, masks and financial support already provided to help Change Lives Now. 

Great Lakes Bay Health

Writing about all of the info that affects your health and the health of our medical and professional workers at Great Lakes Bay Health Centers!

Newsletter Sign Up