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00000178-73c0-ddab-a97a-7bf830af0000From debate over childhood vaccinations to the changing business of hospital finance, IPR has the stories of hospitals and public health that affect northern Michigan.

We’ve Got Issues: Group envisions ‘full service’ care for Up North veterans


Veterans in rural America often have to travel far to get medical care. In northern Michigan, a veteran enrolled in health care through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs might be required to drive to Saginaw, Detroit or Ann Arbor for a doctor’s visit. 

Long wait times are another problem at VA medical centers. 

These challenges have inspired a Traverse City veterans group to envision a new system using local hospitals. The goal of Project Cherry Tree is to build that network, which would be part of what it calls a veterans care community. Leaders say the program would also help veterans with housing, education and job opportunities.

David Mikowski, executive director of Project Cherry Tree, says it could be a model for a nationwide system.