September 16, 2014

Livonia Joins the Family

Family Medicine opens its sixth clinic

Family Medicine opens its sixth clinic today as it moves into the UMHS Livonia Health Center. The center is led by medical director, Elizabeth K. Jones, M.D., lecturer, and manager, Sam Julien.

Sam Julie, health center manager, and Dr. Beth Jones, medical director pose in front of the Livonia Health Center
Sam Julien (left), health center manager, and Dr. Beth Jones, medical director, pose in front of the newly-opened Livonia Health Center.

"We are very excited to offer family medicine services to Livonia and the surrounding area. We hope to implement innovative approaches to healthcare while partnering with the community to serve the needs of this wonderful population. We have an excellent team assembled, that we view as our family, to best provide care for the families we serve," said Dr. Jones.

Like all of U-M's family medicine clinics, the new Livonia site will offer coordinated, family-centered primary care for people of all ages. Services include:

  • Adult and Geriatric Care
  • Newborn, Pediatric and Adolescent Care
  • Prenatal and OB-GYN Care
  • Family Planning
  • Palliative Care
  • Sports Medicine (starting Dec. 2014)
  • Laboratory Services

Today, the clinic is accepting new patients of all ages to be seen by its four physicians: Elizabeth K. Jones, M.D., lecturer, Sahoko H. Little, M.D., Ph.D., lecturer, Thomas A. O’Neil, M.D., lecturer, and Ghazwan Toma, M.D., M.P.H. 

Christina Nisonger, M.D., will bring her sports medicine expertise to the team in December. The clinic will double in size when renovations are complete in January and more physicians will join the team over the course of the next year.

The clinic is located at 20321 Farmington Road in Livonia. Appointments can be scheduled at 248-473-4300.

"We are very excited, after a year of planning, to see the opening of the Livonia Health Center. I'm so pleased with the faculty who will be at Livonia as well as with the site leadership. Together they will provide the extraordinary care patients expect from family medicine at the University of Michigan to the people in the Livonia area. It will also increase our ability to provide high quality clinical sites for our medical students," said Philip Zazove, M.D., the George A. Dean, M.D. Chair of Family Medicine.

Dr. Jones and Ms. Julien excelled in the task of opening a new clinic.

"This is the opportunity of a lifetime…to be able to bring a team together gives us the chance to build the clinic that we always wanted to be a part of. Our main goal is to create a work environment for everyone to flourish from the physician to the patient," noted Ms. Julien. "We are creating a family."

The faculty and staff are a diverse group of individuals from the Department, across the Health System and the local area. Currently, the care team speaks four languages—English, Japanese, Arabic and Chaldean—which allows them to better connect with and serve their patients. As the clinic grows, this number is expected to rise. Additionally, the clinic will have very strong ties with the Japanese Family Health Program located at Domino's Farms in Ann Arbor. The group also has strong community ties and is looking forward to working with the Livonia community. They have already donated unused sports medicine equipment and office supplies to local schools.

As clinic leaders made decisions about operations, they wanted to ensure they were doing what was right rather than what has always been done. Because of this L.P.N.s and medical assistants will have a more involved role. Leaders have set up protocols to ensure that all staff members have a voice and can take part in the decision-making process. The feeling among the group is electric. One nurse, Mary Sue Webb, RN, even joined the team after 25 years in other U-M locations because she "wanted Livonia to be a part of my 50-year celebration."

Leaders are pursuing a grant for the purchase of iPads for use at check in to reduce paper for registration and to allow staff to assist patients in signing up for the portal upon their first visit. The staff is already using lean principles in their daily operations. In fact, they have even been using lean principles with the construction team throughout renovations having daily huddles with construction workers. Everyone thoroughly embraced the vision of Dr. Jones and Ms. Julien that "we're all in this together."

The clinic will utilize teams of physicians and physician assistants. This team-based approach will benefit patients who will receive better continuity of care and will allow physicians time for population management, a core element of the patient-centered medical home model that the entire Department of Family Medicine is working toward.

Family medicine is proud to be a part of the Livonia community and to expand its outstanding patient care.

The Livonia Health Center team