Man wearing a mask driving his car receives a bag of food

Blue Cross Helps Clinic Keep Communities Healthy Through Pandemic   

As job losses and furloughs hit the Ypsilanti and Westland-area communities during the early months of uncertainty in the COVID-19 pandemic, Hope Medical Clinic stepped up to the challenge.  

When their neighbors lost their paychecks and health insurance – Hope Clinic responded. With the help of continued community partnerships – including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan – and a staff of dedicated volunteers, the clinic served 60,000 patient requests in 2020.  

Most of the community members that came to Hope Clinic for help in 2020 needed help getting food on their tables. Right before the pandemic hit, the clinic became one of the main providers of nightly hot meals for those in need in Ypsilanti.  

“Almost overnight, we did six meals a week. In April of 2020, we saw a 400% increase in first-time clients to the food program,” said Rev. M. Douglas Campbell, CEO of the Hope Clinic.  

A $25,000 grant from Blue Cross helped Hope Clinic sustain its medical and dental services, as the organization adapted to the desperate need for food assistance.  

“With the partnership of Blue Cross, we were able to pivot to meet the need,” Campbell said. 

Hope Clinic’s mission is to treat the whole person: offering free medical care, dental care, prescription assistance, behavioral health services, food and other assistance. The clinic started in 1982 and now has two locations: one at 518 Harriet St. in Ypsilanti, and the other at 33608 Palmer Road in Westland.  

Despite the crises of the pandemic, Campbell said Hope Clinic was able to continue to fulfill its mission to the Ypsilanti community – conducting wellness calls for every patient, building efficiencies into dental care and conducting curbside triage assessments. Hope Clinic also expanded to offer grocery delivery services to quarantined individuals with the help of a partnership with University of Michigan medical students and served 50 households every week.  

While managing the urgent needs of the community, Hope Clinic staff also conducted COVID-19 vaccine education and outreach, with support from Blue Cross as well as hundreds of churches, nonprofits and community partners. Now, they’re working on personalized campaigns to get as many people vaccinated as possible.  

The needs are still there: between 70 to 80 people are still at the Hope Clinic almost every night for a hot meal. And on Thanksgiving 2021, 600 meals were provided. 

“Thanks to the diligent work of Hope Clinic, thousands of people in the Ypsilanti and western Wayne County communities were able to make it through an incredibly challenging time,” said Ken Hayward, Blue Cross vice president and special assistant to the president for Community Relations. “Blue Cross is proud to support these efforts, and the mission of Hope Clinic to pursue whole-person health.”     

For more information about the Hope Clinic, visit https://thehopeclinic.org/.

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Photo credit: Getty Images 

 

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