March 26, 2023

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From left to right: Clinic Director James Mier, Director Ed Doerner, receptionist and M.A. MacKenzie Bass, and office Manager and medical assistant Adrienne Schmitt pose at Gateway Healthcare on Sept. 21, 2022 in Midland.
Checkup rooms sit at Gateway Healthcare on Sept. 21, 2022 in Midland.
A waiting room sits at Gateway Healthcare on Sept. 21, 2022 in Midland.
A waiting room sits at Gateway Healthcare on Sept. 21, 2022 in Midland.
Checkup rooms sit at Gateway Healthcare on Sept. 21, 2022 in Midland.
Checkup rooms sit at Gateway Healthcare on Sept. 21, 2022 in Midland.
The sign for Gateway Healthcare hangs on Sept. 21, 2022 in Midland.
A new Midland nonprofit healthcare provider is offering holistic care to patients.
Prior to opening, Gateway Healthcare’s directors Ed Doerner and Jim Mier met with MyMichigan Health to discuss how to serve the Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed (ALICE) population and those struggling with finances.
“Gateway (Healthcare) is not only a gateway to salvation, but a gateway to quality medical care for people who are just aren’t getting it because they don’t think it’s affordable,” Mier said.
Since opening on July 5, Gateway Healthcare has addressed physical, spiritual and financial needs during 275 patient visits.
The office building, located at 600 Cambridge St., Suite 1 in Midland welcomes patients with a lounge area – with complimentary drinks and snacks – a private office space, three examination rooms and a lab. The office also offers testing for COVID-19, RSV, strep and TB.
Gateway Healthcare serves four categories: qualified insured, qualified uninsured, unqualified insured and unqualified uninsured. A qualified person is someone in the ALICE population while an unqualified person is making above the cost of living – $65,000 for a household of four. Gateway Healthcare uses Medicaid rates for qualified individuals and Medicare rates for unqualified individuals.
Doerner explained he felt driven to help people after talking with a few customers at The Bridge Food Center. Doerner was impacted when a customer said how they had to choose between buying food and seeking medical care.
“It gives doctors the opportunity to just care for people and not worry about what they’re being dictated to do (by insurance companies),” Doerner said. “They get to what the right thing is and give the care that they need.”
No matter the patient’s financial background, Gateway Healthcare’s maximum out-of-pocket cost for a medical examination – including tests – is $40.
“A person who’s qualified is only paying for the services they’re getting,” Doerner stated. “They’re not paying for anything else. It becomes affordable.”
In addition to physical health, Gateway Healthcare addresses people’s relational, physical, spiritual, vocational and nutritional health.
As first-time patients enter Gateway, they are greeted at the front desk before they meet with Office Manager and Medical Assistant Adrienne Schmitt. Schmitt explains the role of Gateway Healthcare, what services it provides, and sees where the patient falls in the four categories. In addition to a general health form, patients receive a questionnaire about their mental health, food security, transportation, faith and prayer life.
Schmitt will also ask the patient if they are comfortable with the doctor praying with them during their visit. Gateway Healthcare is founded in Christian values, but caters to all people, no matter their faith orientation.
“Of all the ministries that we do, this is the one where we bring Jesus in the most, but we don’t throw it in our face.” Mier said. “Bringing Jesus into the healing process is important to us. It doesn’t have to be important to them.”
If a patient indicates on their form that they are food insecure, Gateway Healthcare will provide a gift card to The Bridge Food Center. Gateway Healthcare refers people to other resources including His Hands Auto Care. More community resources are coming in, said Schmitt.
“We can send you home with a prescription, but if you don’t have access to nutritional food, that’s not doing you much good,” Schmitt said. “We want to make sure that when patients leave here, they’re as well taken care of as they can be.”
At the end of the visit, patients have the option to give anonymous feedback about their experience. The board of directors review the surveys every month to improve operations.
“Almost every single patient that has come through our door since we opened has been very genuine,” Schmitt said. “They really understand where we’re coming from and they’ve been very encouraging and very good with their advice, which has been helpful.”
In addition to community donors, patients at Gateway Healthcare have donated at total of $1,000, according to Mier. One patient agreed to pay recurring monthly donations of $70.
“Midland has been extremely generous,” Schmitt said. “There are a lot of goodhearted people out there. Even if it’s not benefitting them, they’re still ready to step up and help.”
Schmitt, who has worked with different health offices over the years, said Gateway Healthcare fosters a different type of medical environment than she has seen in the past. Working there, she is reminded why she chose a career in healthcare: to help people.
“When you come in here, you are enveloped in care, in genuine care.” Doerner added.
Gateway Healthcare will host an open house in conjunction with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Sept. 30. The open house, which is set for 11 a.m.-2 p.m., will include. The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 12:30 p.m.
To learn more about Gateway Healthcare or to set up an appointment, visit or call 989-259-1000.
Victoria Ritter grew up in Midland and after earning a degree in English at Grand Valley State University, returned. She joined the Daily News as its newsroom clerk, and eventually began editing obituaries, and in 2016 wrote her first article. She loves the arts, from reading and creative writing to catching a movie or singing in her church choir.


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