PLEASANT, Jan. 11, 2016 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation awarded Isabella Citizens for Health a $100,000 grant today to help uninsured and underinsured people obtain critical, specialty health care services. Isabella Citizens for Health will use the grant to streamline care delivery by using a nurse case-manager model to better connect underserved patients with the services they need. The grant will help the clinic oversee referrals, ensure patients keep appointments and follow treatment plans, as well as improve tracking of patient results and outcomes. Through the grant, Isabella Citizens for Health aims to help more patients control, treat and prevent conditions including diabetes, obesity, asthma, heart disease, colorectal cancer and high blood pressure. Funding will also be used to help expand cervical cancer screenings. “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is committed to helping improve the health of local communities across the state by partnering with organizations such as Isabella Citizens for Health,” said Lynda Rossi, executive vice president, Strategy and Public Affairs for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “This funding will help support the clinic’s mission to improve access to care and ultimately quality of life in Isabella County by helping connect patients with the providers and services they need.” More than 50 percent of people in the primary service area of Isabella Citizens for Health face significant health challenges. Sixteen percent of county residents are uninsured. As a result, Isabella County faces a high demand for access to specialty care services. “This grant will go a long way toward helping Isabella Citizens for Health expand and improve on the care we provide to countless families in our community, and we are grateful to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation for their generous support,” said Jennifer White, executive director at Isabella Citizens for Health. “Thanks to this grant, Isabella Citizens for Health can provide quality specialized care to people who may have otherwise gone without it.” Audrey Harvey, executive director and chief executive officer of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, said, “By combining our resources at Blue Cross and the Blue Cross Foundation, we can provide these grants to encourage innovation and information sharing so more health care centers can implement best practices. In doing so, we hope to close the gaps that exist in specialty care throughout Michigan.” In the past six months, Blue Cross and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation awarded specialty care grants, totaling $400,000, to the University of Detroit Mercy, on behalf of McAuley Health Center, in Detroit; the Wellness Plan Medical Centers in Detroit; the Family Medical Center of Michigan in Temperance; and Isabella Citizens for Health. These organizations focus on access gaps in areas such as cardiology, dermatology, gastroenterology, neurology, OB-GYN, psychiatry, ophthalmology and orthopedic surgery. “Specialty grants like the one Isabella Citizens for Health was awarded today can help treat medical conditions and diseases in their early stages that can save the lives of friends and neighbors here in the community,” said House Speaker Kevin Cotter. “With this grant, Isabella Citizens for Health can encourage more patients to see specialists and follow treatment plans so we can build healthier communities right here in Isabella County.” 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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