Care Providers Help their Communities with Nationally Recognized Care in Marquette

Blues Perspectives

| 3 min read

For Ann Gephart, health care – and the Upper Peninsula – are in her blood.
Not only was she born and raised in Marquette, most of her family and her husband’s family has worked at the local hospital. 
Now, Gephart gives back to her community through her work as practice manager at Singletrack Health, a family medicine office in downtown Marquette. 
“For me the biggest draw in working in health care in this capacity is to improve the daily lives of our employees here at the office. Health care is a very demanding, challenging job. We’ve seen with the pandemic a lot of employee burnout,” Gephart said. “So I want to take care of them on a daily basis so their emotional tanks are full so they can then care for their patients.”
That sense of compassion feeds the approach Singletrack Health takes: fostering partnerships between doctor and patient.
“We’re really trying to find what is best for you,” Gephart said. “We don’t want to have you come in and say I have knee pain and then we’re going to refer you somewhere – because we really want to find out what the root cause of what that knee pain is.”
Singletrack Health is one of 40 practices in the Upper Peninsula and 1,641 in Michigan that have received national recognition for the high quality of health care they provide to patients. Singletrack Health has received the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) designation from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Total Care designation from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. These designations are awarded to practices that meet stringent guidelines for high-quality care, patient outcomes and affordability of costs.
The Total Care designation is awarded to providers who have met national criteria for the quality and value of care they are delivering to patients. These doctors go above and beyond to enhance the overall health of their patients, providing preventive services and wellness coaching, as well as working with patients with chronic conditions to better meet their care needs. In the Marquette area, there are over 40 doctors that have received this designation.
The designation is a way for patients to be assured that at Singletrack Health, staff are highly trained in taking care of the whole person.
Not only are the staff checking to make sure patients are following screenings, tests and preventive services, but they are also working to constantly improve processes to make sure no one falls through the cracks. The staff is also implementing care management best practices.
Gephart recalled one instance when care management staff were able to help a patient who was having a difficult time scheduling a colonoscopy due to a language barrier.By identifying the issue and using their resources, that patient was able to receive the colon cancer screening.
“If you don’t have a screening, you’re not going to find precancerous polyps. Potentially, these screenings can save people’s lives and they quite frequently do save people’s lives. If that barrier hadn’t been identified, that patient to this day no doubt in my mind would not have had that screening or understood the importance of it,” Gephart said. “And because we were able to utilize our care management, and our teams were trained to help work through any barriers that they have to getting those screenings done.”
For Gephart and the entire staff at Singletrack Health, they take the responsibility of helping their patients as a mission to help their neighbors, approaching interactions with empathy.
“It’s just really unique in that we really truly are caring for our community here,” Gephart said.
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association