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The Vision

Created by a grassroots effort, the Thea Bowman Nurse Managed Center program offers comprehensive primary health services to the community of Highland Park. Proponents of the Center, we saw residents who were without access to primary care and now we expect the whole community will be made healthier. We are an ecumenical group united in the belief that this project is God's work and we ask for God's richest blessing on it.

Primary care providers will be teams of volunteer physicians, physician assistants, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners. Early intervention will form the basis for the primary care with the belief that each person should have access to health care and each is responsible for his/her own health.

Other components of this unique health care program will be primary prevention, health education, public health services, secondary and tertiary care as needed, nutritional and social services, and treatment of addictions. As we are committed to preventing duplication, these latter services already available in the area will be obtained through case management. Special attention will be given to prevalent health problems of a low-income African-American population living in a city with environmental problems

A one-payer system and minimal use of pharmaceuticals will demonstrate a cost-efficient use of resources.

While health and community agencies and residents are working to bring about this vision of a healthy Highland Park, university students, undergraduate and graduate, will share the vision. They will use the primary care site as a learning laboratory with the intent that the students will practice as professionals in the cities of Highland Park and Detroit.

A Task Force began working on this project Feb. 1995. We have been supported by the Highland Park Mayor's Office, Highland Park Chamber of Commerce, Highland Park-Detroit Connection, Detroit Riverview Hospital, University of Detroit Mercy School of Health Professions, and other organizations and individuals. In March, 1996, we became incorporated as the Thea Bowman Wellness Institute and formed a Board of Trustees. We have procured non-profit status and have located a site for the Thea Bowman Nurse Managed Center, which is the name of this visionary program.

Our new address is:
Thea Bowman Nurse Managed Center
Riverview Medical Offices
211 Glendale Avenue
Highland Park, MI 48203


Thea Bowman, an African American born in Mississippi, was the grand-daughter of a slave and the daughter of a doctor. Thea, a Franciscan Sister, died of cancer at fifty-one. A brilliant educator and musician and a lover of people, she spent her life breaking down walls and building bridges.

If you wish to volunteer or have questions, call
Sr. Rita Brocke, Family Nurse Practitioner at
313-861-8877 (home) or 313-925-1240 (work).

MichUHCAN member Sister Rita Brocke announced at our October 1997 meeting that the first patient has been seen at the newly opened "Thea Bowman Nurse Managed Center" Congratulations to Sister Rita for making your vision of a nurse-managed free clinic for the uninsured a reality! Until our ultimate goal of a universal, single-payer system is achieved, work such as Sister Rita's will continue to make a difference for the growing number of uninsured in our city. Thank you for your continued commitment to MichUHCAN and the ultimate goal of affordable and accessible care for all!

Picture of Sister Thea Bowman