Local, Family Atmosphere Builds Trust with Marquette Primary Care Doctors

Blues Perspectives

| 3 min read

As a patient recently checked out after an appointment at South Shore Family Practice located in downtown Marquette just blocks from Lake Superior, she stopped at the front desk.
Emotionally, she shared her recent victories with the reception staff and anyone in the waiting area: she had stopped smoking. Her sugars were down. Her pride in herself was visible – and it resonated with the entire office.
“We were a part of that,” said Deb England, manager at South Shore Family Practice. “And to me, that’s the trust: they do see us as family.”
England, who has lived in the U.P. since the 1980s and worked at the practice for 35 years, said she’s seen patients benefit from the deep trust that they can build with local primary care providers.
“The minute they walk in the door, we know their faces; we know their names. We also know their families,” England said. “You can connect at a deeper level.” 
South Shore Family Practice is nationally recognized for the care they deliver to patients. They are designated as a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and as a Total Care practice by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. 
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. Primary care practices across Michigan and the U.P. that have received this designation are acknowledged for their commitment to safety, high quality of care and patient outcomes.
In the Marquette area, there are over 40 doctors that have received this designation. At South Shore Family practice, this designation helps staff stay accountable for every patient, every interaction, to ensure they are achieving healthier outcomes, England said.
“We are doing the best possible for you, and we can prove it,” England said.
The office uses an electronic medical record system that allows staff to anticipate needs that patients will have, and to help coordinate their health care if they see another doctor or travel during the winter months.
“We want to know how many patients have blood pressure that’s out of control,” England said. “And then we can help make processes to help them see the outcomes they want.”  
At South Shore Family practice, staff are following through with every patient with contact points about next steps to help them on their health journey. For England, it’s a good day when she can see the positive results of the hard work a care team invested in a patient – and for that patient to feel proud of themselves.
“I’m the most proud of helping others. I like to help others, and see the smiles on their faces. I like to see that they’re proud of themselves. I like to create those processes that will accomplish those kinds of things,” England said. “We’re a smaller community. We know each other – we build that trust. We care.”
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association