FLINT, Dec. 14, 2015 - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan awarded Genesee Community Health Center a $100,000 grant to fund a mobile health unit that will provide health care services and treatment to the homeless, uninsured and underinsured in the Genesee County area. The grant was presented at an event today hosted by the clinic. The mobile health unit will allow Genesee Community Health Center to serve hard-to-reach patients by traveling to homeless shelters, public housing sites, soup kitchens, the bus station and other targeted locations throughout Flint and Genesee County. The clinic estimates the grant will help provide outreach, screening, integrated care and health coaching to 1,500 patients in the first year of operations and 2,500 patients each year after that. The center will also use a portion of the grant to help enroll patients in health coverage and reduce avoidable emergency room use among new patients by 80 percent within three months. “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is committed to building healthy communities and partnering with local health centers like the Genesee Community Health Center to deliver quality care to people in Flint and Genesee County who need health care the most,” said Todd Anderson, director of Public Policy for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “The Genesee Community Health Center has exceptional organization capabilities that can help it bring care to the hardest-to-reach people in the community. This grant is at the heart of our commitment to supporting the great work being done by hard-working, dedicated health professionals, staff and volunteers in Flint and Genesee County. Their work helps so many people and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is honored we can be a part of this important effort.” Genesee Community Health Center provides integrated care and recovery support for 4,000 patients annually. The center also helps people enroll in health care coverage and get other medical assistance. “This generous grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will help Genesee Community Health Center reach out to many families and individuals across Flint and Genesee County who face real challenges every day getting health care and treatment that can improve and even save lives,” said Linda Bielskis, executive director of Genesee Community Health Center. “Our goal is to help people in our community be healthier, especially those who face significant hurdles to accessing care. Genesee Community Health Center greatly appreciates this grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which is a critical partnership that can help us build a healthy community for all.” More than 12 percent of people in Genesee County don’t have health insurance, and the number of homeless people is growing rapidly. According to the Metro Community Development point-in-time homeless count, Genesee County has a population of about 3,000 homeless people. In terms of health behaviors, Genesee County ranks 77 out of Michigan’s 83 counties. “I am proud of the leadership demonstrated by the Genesee Community Health Center for their innovation and efforts to reach those in our community who need help,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich. “This grant will help homeless individuals and families struggling to make ends meet, and is a great example of collaboration and strong partnerships leading to improved health outcomes. Every individual we can keep healthy and keep out of emergency rooms helps rein in the high cost of health care and improve lives in the process.” As part of its commitment to increasing access to quality health care services and improving the health of all Michigan residents, Blue Cross has provided more than $11 million in grant funding over the past 11 years to free or low-cost medical clinics to expand access to health services and treatment to the uninsured and underinsured. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.5 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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