Close up of a senior woman having a doctors appointment

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Strengthening the Safety Net program Call for Grant Applications Now Open Through June 4

DETROIT, April 15, 2021 – Health care clinics across the state are invited to apply for grants through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Strengthening the Safety Net program. Since 2005, Blue Cross has invested over $16 million in Safety Net grants to clinics providing free or low-cost health care for uninsured and vulnerable Michigan residents. Eligible clinics can now apply for grants through Friday, June 4.

In its 17th year, the Strengthening the Safety Net program offers grants to community-based and volunteer clinics providing medical, dental and mental health care, and patient navigation. Navigators help patients obtain coverage, mental health care, nutrition assistance, outside services, as well as access to the coronavirus vaccine. Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, Blue Cross recognizes a continued need to address racial, ethnic and economic disparities in accessible quality care.

In addition to a strong commitment to patient navigation, clinic leadership will be required to undergo unconscious bias training that covers the science of unconscious bias, how it influences behaviors and patient outcomes, and how to make efforts to overcome unconscious bias. A deeper understanding of unconscious bias will enable clinic leaders to address organizational systems that unintentionally result in disparities.

“Safety net clinics are cornerstones of the communities in which they serve and key drivers in increasing access, awareness and affordability to quality care,” said Kenneth Hayward, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan vice president of Community Relations and special assistant to the President. “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s social mission to increase access to health care and health equity, which can improve overall health outcomes, reduce disparities and lower health costs, remains a priority focus. Providing safety net clinics grants for necessary care and services is just one way we together move the needle in creating a healthier Michigan.”

Applicants may apply for a grant to support clinic operations or services as a medical home.

  1. Clinic operations – Safety net clinics that provide episodic care, are open for limited hours and treat more than 100 uninsured and underinsured patients annually are eligible to apply for up to $15,000 to support their operations, including clinical and patient navigation services.
  2. Medical and dental homes – Clinics that serve as medical or dental homes and are open for at least 30 hours per week, or bill Medicaid, are eligible to apply for up to $25,000 to support team-based care, including clinical and patient navigation services. Awards at this level require a $10,000 match.

Final award amounts will be based on the number of applications received; the scope of applications submitted and the amount of funding available. All materials must be submitted by the online application form, which is accessible at bcbsm.com/safetynet. Any questions can be directed to [email protected].

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides health benefits to more than 4.7 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies residing outside the state. The company has been committed to delivering affordable health care products through a broad variety of plans for businesses, individuals and seniors for more than 80 years. Beyond health care coverage, BCBSM supports impactful community initiatives and provides leadership in improving health care. For more information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.