After serving as interim executive director of Detroit-based Advantage Health Centers (AHC), Nina Abubakari was recently elevated to executive director of the non-profit organization that holds the distinction of being a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). With this promotion, Abubakari is on a renewed mission to inform metro Detroiters that AHC is capable of living up its motto: “Your Advantage for Better Health.”
With five health centers located in Detroit and one in the neighboring city of Warren, AHC staff and providers are committed to rendering quality health, medical, mental and dental services based on the Family Medicine Model of integrating a broad approach to primary care using social determinants and community factors.
“We are here to provide comprehensive healthcare and related services to everyone in the greater Detroit community, regardless of someone’s ability to pay,” said Abubakari. “We serve everyone that walks into our door, whether he or she has insurance or no insurance at all. We don’t turn anyone away. Needed health and medical services will never be denied or compromised to anyone because of his or her inability to pay for services.”
AHC, according to Abubakari, serves upwards to 28,000 patients each year, with many returning multiple times, depending on the severity of respective health issues AHC does accept patient fees and insurance payments that patients may have, to include Medicare and Medicaid for a portion of the health center funding.
While AHC is ready to serve all who have health, medical, mental and dental needs, many people in the region are unware of its existence.
“As great as the services are that we offer, there are people who don’t know who we are,” Abubakari admitted. “I meet people all the time who don’t know about the wonderful services offered by AHC and don’t know what a Federally Qualified Health Center is. So, we are not operating at full capacity, and our plans are to make sure more people become more aware of who we are and the health services we provide.”
Abubakari is proud of the strengthened bond between AHC and the Detroit Medical Center’s medical residency program, which gives AHC access to trained physicians in the community, who hopefully will remain in the community after residency, due to the shortage of primary care physicians in Detroit.
Abubakari is also thankful to the Delta Dental Foundation’s donation of equipment, as well as its funds to help open AHC’s Delta Dental Center at Thea Bowman, located on W. McNichols Rd. near Greenfield. The center has increased the number of dental patients AHC can serve.
“We anticipate by the end of the year, we will be able to see more than 400 dental patients,” said Abubakari. “Before the center, we had mobile dental services. Now we have a great center in which to serve dental patients.”
For Abubakari, her leadership role with AHC is a personal and professional way of giving back to empower the people of her native Detroit. In preparation for her current executive position, Abubakari has earned several degrees critical to her effectiveness at AHC. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and women’s studies from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in public health and epidemiology from the University of Minnesota, an MBA from Wayne State University, and a juris doctorate from Wayne State University. Abubakari is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Before joining AHC, Abubakari was managing partner of Fern Health Solutions. Additionally, she was the former director of quality improvement for Sinai-Grace Hospital of the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) Health System. Her association with AHC began as a board member in 2013, before becoming board president. She ultimately was promoted to serve as interim executive director, before recently taking over as AHC’s top executive.
“How we value and prioritize health and medical care and how it plays out in people’s lives are extremely important to me,” said Abubakari. “Advantage Health Centers has the capacity to grow in the city of Detroit and with the city of Detroit. AHC is dedicated to providing comprehensive healthcare and support services to metro Detroiters and those experiencing homelessness, regardless of whether they have insurance or regardless of their ability to pay for services. We see a lot of growth opportunities to serve, and it’s very exciting!”
For more information about Advantage Health Centers’ health, medical, mental and dental services, or the locations of its six centers, phone 313.416.6223 or log on to https://ahcdetroit.org.