BCBSM strengthens Michigan’s health safety net with grants to 53 locally-run clinics

L to R: Dan & Barbara Grinwis, Directors, Oasis of Hope Center; Senator Dave Hildenbrand; Melanie Beelen, Director, Baxter Community Center; Ron Rozema, Development Director, Catherine’s Health Center; Cle Jackson, Senior Community Liaison, BCBSM Community Responsibility; Sylvia Daining, Executive Director, H.I.S.; Pat Prichard, Director, BCBSM West MI UP & Regional Visibility

L to R: Dan & Barbara Grinwis, Directors, Oasis of Hope Center; Senator Dave Hildenbrand; Melanie Beelen, Director, Baxter Community Center; Ron Rozema, Development Director, Catherine’s Health Center; Cle Jackson, Senior Community Liaison, BCBSM Community Responsibility; Sylvia Daining, Executive Director, H.I.S.; Pat Prichard, Director, BCBSM West MI UP & Regional Visibility

For Mary Kautenberg and the estimated 80,000 other uninsured and underinsured in Kent County, locally operated, nonprofit health care clinics are a critical part of their community. Her story is a familiar one, a person who once had insurance and now does not.

Kautenberg spoke as part of a media briefing on October 21, 2013, announcing grants from BCBSM to four clinics in Kent County.  She expressed how thankful she is to have the safety net of clinics to fall back on when she needed help

“You can take that (having insurance) for granted sometimes because it’s there and it’s so easy,” Kautenberg says. “But when you suddenly find yourself without, you start wondering where I’m going to go and what am I going to do.  And luckily I found HIS (Health Intervention Services), and that was a huge, huge blessing.”

The briefing was one of several around Michigan, announcing 53 clinic grants aiming to enhance the services provided by clinics and fund general operating expenses.

While this is the ninth year the Michigan Blues have provided such grants, this is the first time grants can be used as patient advocacy funds to help people sign up for affordable health insurance on the Marketplace, or enroll in an expanded Medicaid program, both provisions under the Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“New federal health care laws are complex, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is excited to work with front line healthcare providers to help more Michigan families get health insurance coverage in a smooth and efficient way,” says Kim Kratz, BCBSM senior health care analyst. “The patient navigation funds in our safety net grants reflect that commitment.”

Here is a listing of the clinics receiving grants from BCBSM this year:

Alpena County

The Free Clinic of Alpena – Alpena, Mich.

Barry County

Freely Given Inc. dba Barry Community Free Clinic – Hastings, Mich.

Bay County

Helen M. Nickless Volunteer Clinic – Essexville, Mich.

Branch County

Presbyterian Health Clinic of Branch County – Coldwater, Mich.

Calhoun County

Community HealthCare Connections – Battle Creek, Mich.
Fountain Clinic – Marshall, Mich.

Charlevoix County

Boyne Area Free Clinic, Inc. – Boyne City, Mich.

Cheboygan County

Northern Care Center – Cheboygan, Mich.

Crawford County

AuSable Free Clinic, Inc. – AuSable, Mich.

Dickinson County

Care Free Dental of Dickinson and Florence, Inc. – Iron Mountain, Mich.

Genesee County

Genesee County Free Medical Clinic – Flint, Mich.

Hillsdale County

St. Peter’s Free Clinic of Hillsdale County, Inc. – Hillsdale, Mich.

Ingham County

Cristo Rey Community Center – Lansing, Mich.
Care Free Medical & Dental – Lansing and Mason, Mich.

Jackson County

St. Luke’s Clinic – Jackson, Mich.

Kent County

Catherine’s Health Center – Grand Rapids, Mich.
Health Intervention Services – Grand Rapids, Mich.
Oasis of Hope Center – Grand Rapids, Mich.
Baxter Community Center – Grand Rapids, Mich.

Lapeer County

Loving Hands Clinic – Lapeer, Mich.

Livingston County

Faith Medical Clinic – Pinckney, Mich.
VINA Community Dental Center – Brighton, Mich.

Macomb County

St. John Providence Community Health, Physicians Who Care – Warren, Mich.

Marquette County

Medical Care Access Coalition, Inc. – Marquette, Mich.

Mecosta County

Hope House Free Medical Clinic – Big Rapids, Mich.

Oakland County

Centro Multicultural La Familia – Pontiac, Mich.
Dr. Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic – Pontiac, Mich.
FernCare Free Clinic, Inc. – Ferndale, Mich.
St Joseph Mercy Oakland dba Mercy Place – Pontiac, Mich.
Tri-County Dental Program dba Jewish Family Services – Southfield, Mich.

Ottawa County

City on a Hill Ministries Health Clinic – Zeeland, Mich.
Holland Free Health Clinic – Holland, Mich.
Love in the Name of Christ Free Health Clinic – Grand Haven, Mich.

Saginaw County

Community Prescription Support Program – Saginaw, Mich.
Saginaw Area Foundation for Eye Care – Saginaw, Mich.
St. Mary’s of Michigan Center of HOPE Free Clinics – Saginaw, Mich.

Shiawassee County

Shiawassee Free Medical Clinic – Owosso, Mich.

St. Clair County

People’s Clinic For Better Health – Port Huron Township, Mich.

St. Joseph County

Riverside Health Clinic – Three Rivers, Mich.

Washtenaw County

Hope Medical Clinic, Inc.: Ypsilanti Clinic – Ypsilanti, Mich.
Shelter Association of Washtenaw County – Ann Arbor, Mich.

Wayne County

Arab American and Chaldean Council Primary Care Clinic, Detroit, Wayne
Cass Clinic – Detroit, Mich.
Hope Medical Clinic, Inc.: Wayne Clinic – Westland, Mich.
HUDA Clinic – Detroit, Mich.
Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation – Detroit, Mich.
Order of Malta Medical/Dental Clinic – Detroit, Mich.
Society of St. Vincent DePaul Dental Clinic – Detroit, Mich.
The Dr. Albert B Cleage Sr. Memorial Health Center – Detroit, Mich.
Trinity Community Services & Educational Foundation dba Cabrini Clinic – Detroit, Mich.
Wyandotte Clinic for the Working Uninsured – Wyandotte, Mich.
Z.I.A.D. Health for the Uninsured – Trenton, Mich.

Wexford County

Stehouwer Free Clinic – Cadillac, Mich.

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