HSCB Coordinator Sharron Lemmer and
WSMC Network Analyst Jeff Kamaloski
When local health and human services agencies have a need, they can rely on the Manistee County Human Services Collaborative Body (HSCB) to rally support. STONESHOUSE Recovery Residence wanted to obtain computers for its men’s and women’s residences to allow clients to develop computer skills, take online classes and complete employment applications. Director Gregory Stone contacted HSCB Coordinator Sharron Lemmer, who sent a request out to all HSCB member agencies. Within a short time, Lemmer had good news from West Shore Medical Center.
“I was very pleased to hear that the hospital had computers to donate,” said Lemmer. “Not only could they meet STONESHOUSE’s needs, but they had equipment to allow several other agencies to upgrade or expand.”
“West Shore Medical Center recently purchased new computers to handle the increasing demands of our electronic health record,” said West Shore Medical Center Information Services manager Dan Chapman. “We had twenty PCs that were still in great shape but weren’t powerful enough to meet our needs, so we were happy to donate them to groups who could put them to good use.”
Once the hospital received approval from the county to donate the computers, Lemmer sent applications to HSCB members and quickly had requests from several area agencies with a variety of needs. In all, twenty computers were distributed to ten agencies. West Shore’s Information Services Department wiped all data from the machines and upgraded memory when possible.
“The computers will be used to serve all ages of our community, from preschoolers to the elderly,” explained Lemmer. In addition to STONESHOUSE, recipient agencies were CASMAN Academy, Department of Human Services volunteers and interns, ISD and FiveCAP Great Start Readiness classroom for 4-year-olds, Love INC, Manistee County Community Foundation, Manistee County Council on Aging, The Salvation Army, SEEDS after school program at Manistee Area Public Schools, and Staircase Youth Services.
“Some of our computers are 12 years old,” said Robin Paulus, Executive Director of Love INC. “Our staff and volunteers will be thrilled. These new PCs will allow us to work much faster and to update our software.”
“The collaboration was a beautiful thing,” said Lemmer. “This is exactly the sort of cooperation HSCB was designed to facilitate agencies working together to meet community needs.”
Manistee’s HSCB is one of 76 community collaboratives in the state. Membership is comprised of representatives from public and private organizations that address a wide range of health and human service needs. Manistee’s HSCB membership meets monthly to keep all agencies in contact, and the collaborative also has several active workgroups that are addressing important issues in the county such as safe and affordable housing, 2-1-1 services, early childhood development and safety, and community health.