BCBSM continues to strengthen healthcare safety net with two grants in Wayne County
by Adriane Davis
| 4 min read
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan continues to support affordable and accessible care by granting approximately $150,000 to two metro Detroit Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). The grants will help provide much needed care to local residents. This expansion of services was celebrated this week at the opening of the Western Wayne Family Health Center. Congressman John D. Dingell was also presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the celebration. “BCBSM is proud to support health centers, health professionals and volunteers here in metro Detroit tackle some of the most significant health care challenges in the nation today – and that includes helping every single family in this community get the care and treatment they need to be healthy,” said Kim Kratz, BCBSM senior health care analyst. “These health centers provide access to care for tens of thousands of vulnerable, uninsured Michiganders and without them, patients will delay and even forego care at great cost to themselves, their families and the health care system. Blue Cross is excited to partner with Covenant Community Care and Western Wayne Family Health Center to expand access to care together and grateful to Congressman Dingell for a strong career dedicated to a healthier Michigan.” The Western Wayne Family health Center will use the BCBSM grant to renovate exam rooms and provide integrated primary care and behavioral health care services. By upgrading its resources, it expects to provide care and services to an additional 4,000 people annually. “As frontline health care providers, we see every day how demand for quality care remains very high, and that’s why we’re extremely grateful for the impact Congressman Dingell has had on making a healthier Southeast Michigan,” said Linda Atkins, chief executive officer at the Western Wayne Family Health Center. “The financial resources necessary to increase access to care are great, which is why grants like the one from BCBSM make such a difference.” Based in Detroit, Covenant Community Care received a $100,000 grant from BCBSM to help fund clinicians and medical supplies for a new comprehensive health center. Western Wayne Family Health Center, in Lincoln Park, was awarded a $48,450 to expand and strengthen resources to provide integrated health care and behavioral health care. “We are extremely grateful to Congressman Dingell and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for providing health care support to our community and helping make a positive difference in the lives of the families we serve,” said Paul Propson, chief executive officer at Covenant Community Care. “Partnerships like these make a real difference in improving health outcomes for people who lack access to quality care, and partnership is vital to building a healthier community across Detroit.” During the event, the National Association of Community Health Centers presented Congressman John D. Dingell with the 2014 Distinguished Community Health Center Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing his efforts in Congress to support and expand services at the Western Wayne Family Health Center and other local health care facilities. “I am very grateful for this recognition from the National Association of Community Health Centers, as well as the hard work and strong commitment to the safety net demonstrated by the Western Wayne Family Health Center, Covenant Community Care and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan,” said Congressman Dingell, D-Dearborn in a press statement. “For too long in metro Detroit, these health care centers were the only option to receive care, and partnerships like the ones demonstrated today mean the world to many families.” As part of its efforts to increase access to quality health care services and improve the health status of all Michigan residents, Blue Cross continuously supports the uninsured and underinsured in the state by supporting locally operated, nonprofit clinics that provide health care. BCBSM has given more than $9 million to the state’s safety net since 2005. Wayne County, the county which Detroit resides, has the lowest ranking of Michigan’s 83 counties for health outcomes and factors, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation County Health Rankings. The study also cites 23 percent of Wayne County adults are uninsured and 38 percent of children live in poverty. Age-adjusted mortality rates for diabetes, heart disease and infant mortality far exceed the national benchmark. The rate of premature deaths in Wayne County is also double the U.S. benchmark.