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In brief HealthPlus now offers MIChild health insurance GENESEE COUNTY — MIChild, a health insurance program for uninsured children (ages 0-19) of Michigan’s working families, is now available through HealthPlus of Michigan in 18 Michigan counties. HealthPlus recently added 11 counties — Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Iosco, Livingston, Macomb, Midland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne — to its MIChild product service area. HealthPlus also offers MIChild plans in Genesee, Lapeer, Shiawassee, Saginaw, Bay, Tuscola and Oakland counties. To apply for MIChild visit or call MIChild toll free at 1-888-988-6300. — G.G.

Genesys Physician Hospital Organization to participate in Medicare partnership FLINT — The Genesys Physician Hospital Organization (PHO) — a collaboration between Genesys Health System and Genesys Physicians Group Practice — today announced it has been selected as one of only 32 in the nation to participate in the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model, a transformative new initiative sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center. Through the Pioneer ACO Model, the Genesys PHO will work with CMS to provide Medicare beneficiaries with higher quality care, while reducing growth in Medicare expenditures through enhanced care coordination. The Pioneer ACO Model is designed to encourage the development of ACOs, which are groups of doctors and other healthcare providers who work together to provide high quality care for their patients. As one in a diverse group of leading-edge health care organizations from around the country, Genesys PHO was chosen specifically by the Innovation Center to test the effectiveness of several models of payment in helping organizations make a rapid transition to higher quality care at a lower cost to Medicare. Under the Pioneer ACO Model, CMS will provide incentives for participating health care providers who form an organization to coordinate care for patients. Providers who band together through this model will be required to meet quality standards based upon, among other measures, patient outcomes and care coordination among the provider team. — G.G.


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Grand Blanc, MI Thursday, December 22, 2011

McDonald’s complete renovations BY AMANDA BRANIECKI

Photos by Amanda Braniecki

Grand Blanc McDonald’s Owners Kirk and Marie Heath cut the ribbon during their restaurant’s grand reopening celebration on Dec. 15. The ribbon cutting signified the completion of a three month renovation to the restaurant’s interior and exterior design.

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GRAND BLANC — Nearly 20 years after first opening its doors, the Grand Blanc McDonald’s has a completely new aesthetic. In September, owners Kirk and Marie Heath kicked off a three-month long renovation project to their restaurant, located at 12237 S. Saginaw St. next to the Coach Stop Plaza, as part of the McDonald’s Corporation initiative to give its buildings a more modern and contemporary look and feel. “By the end of the year, 44 Michigan locations and 800 throughout the United States will have been remodeled,” Marie Heath said. “The goal is in five years all (McDonald’s) will support this look.” To celebrate the completion of the project, the Heath’s hosted a grand reopening and ribbon cutting ceremony on Dec. 15 showcasing the new exterior and interior updates. As part of the remodel, the restaurant now has side-by-side drive-through lanes, a new refacing of its exterior walls and an outdoor patio area. Kirk Heath said they have the furniture for the outdoor seating area, but that it will not be put in place until spring. Inside the restaurant, the Heath’s incorporated new wallpaper, new seating to fit all customers’ needs, a natural finish in the lobby, two flat screen televisions on its walls and free Wi-Fi service for its customers. “It absolutely meet our vision,” Kirk Heath said, adding that this year in Michigan, McDonald’s spent about $36 million locally in remodels and new construction projects. “We always felt that Grand Blanc is a very upscale community and we should be representative of that community and look that way so we keep our building fresh.” This is the restaurant’s second remodel in five years, with the first being a strictly indoor remodel. Restaurant Manager Laurie Pieniozek said the customers were all understanding and patient during the process as they did not close the restaurant during construction. “Things were definitely a little hectic

Sgt. Gary Stanley from Toys for Tots accepts a mini-grant from Kirk and Marie Heath. The Heath’s gave away six mini-grants for $250 to local organizations, which also included the Grand Blanc Optimist Club, FISH Inc., Grand Blanc Parks and Recreation Special Needs Program, VFW Ladies Auxiliary and Grand Blanc Athletic Boosters, as a way to thank the community and its customers for their support over the years.

around here, but we did the best we could and we got creative,” Pieniozek said. “Our customers were great though and they were all very understanding.” Pieniozek said since the remodel, cus-

tomers have also been very complimentary of its completely new look. “Things here look more up-to-date in here and everyone has been telling us how much they like it,” Pieniozek said. “It has been very favorable amongst our customers.” As a thank you to the community and its customers, Kirk and Marie Heath also gave out six mini-grants for $250 each to organizations that help Grand Blanc’s youth and those in need such as the Grand Blanc Optimist Club, FISH Inc., Grand Blanc Parks and Recreation Special Needs Program, VFW Ladies Auxiliary, Grand Blanc Athletic Boosters and Toys for Tots. “We are very proud to be a part of this community,” Kirk Heath said. “It has been a love for Marie and I to be here in this community...we have lovely customers day-in and day-out.” The Heath’s own four McDonald’s in the area. Marie Heath said they have no plans to remodel the other restaurants as they are already equipped with the modern design. For more information, call 810-694-6352 or visit the corporation’s website at

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