Beyond the Card: Expanding Access to Integrated Care {Podcast}

Beyond the Card: Expanding Access to Integrated Care {Podcast}

Access to mental health and substance abuse treatment services is a critical issue for many patients who are uninsured or under insured, especially those in rural communities.

This fall, six Michigan-based safety net providers received a combined total of $535,000 to help develop, enhance or expand programs to support  uninsured and low-income patients coping with mental illness and substance abuse. The funding is provided through a unique partnership between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The integrated care grants were awarded to clinics and health systems across Michigan, including White Cloud, Grand Rapids, Detroit, Bangor, St. Ignace and Boyne City.

On this episode of the MI Blues Perspectives podcast, host Sven Gustafson speaks with representatives from two of these clinics to discuss the impact of this grant funding.

Guests include:

  • Rodney Nelson of the Mackinac Straits Health System
  • Dr. Andrea Wendling of the Boyne Area Health Clinic and Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine
  • Audrey Harvey of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation
  • Representative Matt Lori of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services


Mackinac Straits Health System

Mackinac Straits Health System in St. Ignace was awarded $75,000 to support a new program that will provide a holistic approach when treating individuals with addiction of mental illness by integrating medical and mental health care, crisis intervention, treatment services and transition back into the community.

This post is part of a storytelling series we call, “Beyond the Card.” These stories will feature Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members, employees, and communities who are making meaningful differences throughout our state.

We invite you to follow Beyond the Card stories here at and through the hashtag, #BeyondtheCard on our social channels. If you have a story you would like to share, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].

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Photo credit: abarndweller

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