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Supporting Practices and Building a Patient Centered Medical Network in Muskegon

Affinia Health Network – Lakeshore is a physician-hospital organization serving the greater Muskegon region.  Founded in 1994, Affinia Health Network (AHN) is made up of over 520 physicians and advanced practice providers, 3 hospitals, and other ancillary providers.

AHN has expanded on the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model of care to include the community.  They have established a Patient Centered Medical Network (PCMN).  A PCMN is “a patient-centric, integrated care delivery network of providers who share a common vision to deliver excellence in quality, efficiency and service within the community we serve.”  Some of the many community partners include 211 as a resource referral service, PACE Muskegon for eldercare, and Great Lakes Health Connect for Health Information Exchange.  As a medium sized Michigan city with a transitioning economy and reduced tax base, it is a fertile environment for innovation and collaboration.

AHN operates a Management Service Organization (MSO), providing contract and practice management services to support their member practices.  One of the many services offered is an annual event for staff.  On October 7th, 2015 they held their 10th Annual Affinia Health Network Educational Conference and MSO Expo in Muskegon, with over 500 attendees, 48 vendors, and 18 presentation sessions.

The day began with an inspirational keynote message from musical conductor Ben Zander and was followed by breakout sessions on a variety of relevant talks.  Topics offered included patient adherence, generational issues, pain management compliance, patient perspectives, population health, behavioral health integration, alternative medicine, cyber security, and sessions on individual health insurance plans and coding.  The exhibitor hall included vendors from the region in all aspects of health care and office management, from optical services to computer recycling, with prize drawings held for attendees.

AHN also works with practices through practice transformation.  Practice coaches create clinical integration plans for each office, including process improvement and achieving Patient Centered Medical Home goals.  The coaches are LEAN process trained, have a BS level degree or higher, and come from a variety of healthcare backgrounds.  Their skills generally include healthcare administration, project management, information technology, and strategic planning.  Building supportive relationships with the practices has been key to achieving successful outcomes.

As a healthcare innovator, AHN was one of the first groups to join Michigan Primary Care Transformation Project (MiPCT). They are also involved with projects regarding patient centered medical homes, behavioral health integration, emergency department utilization, and patient satisfaction.

To learn more about AHN’s Patient Centered Medical Network and other initiatives, visit

Are you part of an organization transforming health care in your community?  Contact Stacie Longwell Hill at [email protected].

Education to Practice is a service of the Michigan Health Council



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