Telegram - Serving Metropolitan Detroit Since 1944

By Renee Summers
Telegram Reporter 

Central City Health Clinic Strives For a Healthy Community


August 27, 2020

Group therapy is part of the behavioral services offered at CCIH.

DETROIT - In 1971, Detroit Central City Health Centerwas first incorporated to provide health care services to urban Detroit neighborhoods. Now nearly 50 years later, Central City Integrated Health (CCIH), as it is now known, continues to provide integrated services to vulnerable populations in Wayne County, including those recently released from jails and hospitals and those who are experiencing homelessness. The mission of CCIH is to achieve wellness in the community by providing a variety of primary and behavioral health care, housing, and substance abuse services with dignity and respect.

CCIH provides primary and pediatric care, dental services, behavioral health services, substance abuse treatment, supportive housing services, community re-entry services, community resource assistance, and supported employment services. In 2018, more than 4,400 consumers took advantage of those services.

In recent months, CCIH has been at the forefront of COVID-19 drive-thru and walk-up testing. "That's been another kind of component of CCIH that's just developed over the past four or five months," says Dr. Kiel Opperman, Director of Housing and Program Development at CCIH. "A lot of our resources go towards that, making sure that we get to all the underprivileged and underrepresented areas of Detroit." Drive-up COVID-19 testing had been held at various locations throughout the city, and Opperman says more such events are being planned.

In addition to medical care, CCIH addresses social issues to provide for the needs of the whole person. The following is a brief overview of some of the programs offered by CCIH.

Behavioral health services have many avenues of focus and treatment. Service options include psychiatric evaluation, individual and group therapy, substance abuse treatment, and assertive community treatment, or ACT. ACT is a service-delivery model which provides treatment to those with serious and persistent mental illnesses by way of home visits, frequently on a daily basis, and aims to keep patients in their home and out of a psychiatric hospital. "By having our psychiatrists, social workers, therapists, and peer support go out into the community, they're better able to provide the support necessary for individuals with more severe mental health problems," explains Opperman.

Supportive Housing has been a part of CCIH since the 1980s, as it recognizes that having safe and secure housing can have an important impact on overall health and well-being. CCIH's Supportive Housing programs serve individuals and families with varying needs and circumstances, including military veterans, victims of domestic abuse, people with physical disabilities, and people with mental illness and/or substance abuse issues. Housing is provided via grants through the Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network (DWIHN) and the Detroit Continuum of Care, both of which receive funding from HUD. Opperman says that once housing issues are resolved, it means one less thing for a program participant, or member, to worry about. "If somebody doesn't have a stable place to go home at night, or to spend some of their daytime at, it's really tough to start working on someone's depression, or somebody's bi-polar symptoms when you don't have stability in the home," he says.

Community Re-Entry Services at CCIH are for those returning to the community from the criminal justice system or who would benefit from mental health services as opposed to time in jail. The program's goal is to provide this population with life skills, job skills, and health care so they can become a successful member of the community. With access to proper resources, the negative cycle of incarceration can be halted. In 2017, 553 individuals were served by this program.

"CCIH really focuses on the whole person and that's why we have so many different services; we have the federally qualified health center, we have dental services on site, behavioral health, housing, community re-entry, employment, and that's kind of the goal: to really be here regardless of what it is that that person needs," says Opperman, adding that they work cooperatively with other agencies as well. "I think that here in the Detroit community, especially among our members, we have a good reputation for providing very supportive, empathetic, well-rounded services."

CCIH is a health clinic and so much more.

For more information on Central City Integrated Health and its programs, go to


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