Advantage Health Centers today unveiled a state-of-the-art facility at its Warren location designed to provide behavioral services and treatment for substance abuse. The center may impact and benefit thousands of underserved and homeless people across southeast Michigan. The facility was built with the assistance of a $100,000 safety net grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. The new behavioral health space - located at 4669 East 8 Mile in Warren - will help 30 percent more patients get treatment for depression and substance abuse at Advantage Health Centers. The facility integrates screening, intervention and treatment for physical and behavioral health, reducing the need for patients to go to multiple locations. To access these new services, patients can make appointments, walk-in, or enter by doctor referral. “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan congratulates Advantage Health Centers for finding innovative, effective solutions to problems that directly affect members of the community, and we are pleased to support these efforts,” said Lynda Rossi, executive vice president, Blue Cross. “As a health care partner committed to building healthier communities, Blue Cross is excited to work with health professionals and organizations that are truly making a positive difference in the lives and well-being of the people they serve.” With the new facility and services, Advantage Health Centers is adding staff, including Dr. Jason Wilkinson, PhD, who will be the new behavioral health program manager. He is an expert in developing integrated behavioral health and primary care programs and sharing supervisory skills to support existing behavioral health staff in a community health setting. Advantage Health Centers also plans to hire a Peer Support Specialist to work with the behavioral health team to engage the community and reach out to new clients. Joe Ferguson, executive director of Advantage Health Centers, said, “Our new behavioral health space will make a profound difference in improving and turning around the lives of countless people across the metro Detroit area who battle substance abuse and other behavioral challenges. This facility will enable us to provide screening, intervention and referrals for treatment for the people we serve well before substance abuse or behavioral issues destroy lives. This is a cost-efficient and highly effective health delivery model that was made possible through a generous grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Partnerships like this are the way forward for building healthy communities.” United States Senator Debbie Stabenow said, “This new state-of-the-art behavioral health unit in Warren will expand mental health services so patients can get the quality care they need all under one roof. I applaud the staff and volunteers at Advantage Health Centers, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and others for partnering to make this new facility a reality.” Congressman Sander Levin said, “Advantage Health Center is on the front line of our nation’s health care system, with a proven history of expanding access to quality primary and preventative care and improving health outcomes in underserved areas in Southeast Michigan. The addition of a behavioral health unit will address a great need by providing mental health services to thousands of Michigan residents in the greater Metro Detroit area.” State Senator Steve Bieda (D-Warren), said, “Our community already knows the great work that Advantage Health Centers and its dedicated team of staff do every day, and this new facility and the support from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will only improve the work they do. This new facility is the next step in providing comprehensive quality care to people in need. Advantage Health Centers is an asset to our community and we applaud them for this tremendous accomplishment.” 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 and administers health benefits to more than 4.4 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.
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