DETROIT, August 2, 2021 – $100,000 in grant funding has been awarded to Hamilton-McFarlan Senior Health Center by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation to enhance the care of Flint’s aging population. Set to host its grand opening on August 11, Hamilton-McFarlan will increase access to integrated care and address seniors’ unique needs and health disparities. The senior health center is part of a larger campus, Court Street Village, which offers transitional housing and assisted living, a food pantry and transportation services. Hamilton-McFarlan is aiming to serve more than 1,200 patient encounters onsite in its first year of operations, including primary care, behavioral health screenings and health promotion. It also will be a hub for educating patients and the community on immunizations, diabetes management and hypertension control. A portion of the Blue Cross grant funding was used to hire a community health worker to help patients navigate their health needs and seek resources outside of primary care such as housing and food assistance. “The Hamilton-McFarlan Senior Health Center serves as a model for innovative, equitable senior health services,” said Ken Hayward, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan vice president of community relations and special assistant to the president. “This critical work, led by Hamilton Community Health Network and McFarlan Homes, aligns with Blue Cross’ objective to improve the health and well-being of Michigan’s senior population, meeting their needs where they are and ensuring access to care is as streamlined as possible.” “It is my distinct honor to serve Flint’s senior population and their health needs,” said Shelia Thomas, nurse practitioner and sole primary care provider for Hamilton-McFarlan Senior Health Center. “As a lifelong resident of Flint, Hamilton-McFarlan is a hallmark for both senior health and our region. I am confident this health center will serve the needs of Flint’s seniors with quality, accessible care and preventive action that will improve their overall well-being.” According to data from America’s Health Rankings 2021, nearly 12% of people 60 and over in Michigan struggle with food insecurity, whereas 8.7% of ages 65 and older face poverty and financial difficulties. Per the 2019 Ending Homelessness in Michigan annual report, over 8,300 people 55 and older reported facing homelessness. The Hamilton-McFarlan Senior Health Center is located in Court Street Village at 800 E. Court Street in Flint, Mich. More information on the center and its services can be found at https://www.hamiltonchn.org/hamilton-mcfarlan-senior-health-center/.
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.