$1.2 million provided to safety net health clinics by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation

by Meghan O'Brien

| 3 min read

Blue Cross grant funding will help increase access to care for uninsured Michiganders

DETROIT, Oct. 26, 2015 — Fifty-two safety net health care organizations across Michigan received grants totaling more than $1.2 million combined from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation. The grant funding is dedicated to expanding access to health care, including critical specialty care, for Michigan’s underinsured and uninsured residents. “Safety net providers offer crucial health care services to thousands of Michigan residents who would otherwise go without treatment,” said Lynda Rossi, executive vice president of Strategy and Public Affairs at Blue Cross. “The nonprofit clinics receiving these grants provide people with a trusted health care resource they can turn to when they’re most in need. These clinics help people without health insurance live longer, healthier lives.” The Foundation and Blue Cross awarded $400,000 of the total funding to four safety net providers to expand access to critical specialty care treatment. National data indicate the need for medical specialty services doubled between 1999 and 2009, from 4.8 percent to 9.3 percent. Estimates further project a shortage of medical specialists of as many as 8,000 physicians for all specialties by 2020. The following specialty care grants were awarded:
  • Detroit - $100,000 for the McAuley Health Center to support an innovative nurse-managed specialty program that uses a monthly clinic to address dermatology, endocrinology and podiatry at same time.
  • Detroit - $100,000 to The Wellness Plan Medical Centers in Detroit to develop a Point of Care Specialty Services program to facilitate communication and bring necessary specialty services to the patient in the primary care clinic rather than sending them to external offices by using telemedicine or onsite specialist appointments.
  • Mount Pleasant - $100,000 to Isabella Citizens for Health to utilize a nurse case-manager to work with underserved patients to oversee the referral process to local hospitals, ensure compliance with appointments and treatment plans, tracking appointment results and use.
  • Temperance - $100,000 to the Family Medical Center of Michigan to employ a collaborative effort to engage specialty providers, residency programs and other community programs in an effort to increase access for their patients.
“Awarding critical financial support to resource-strapped clinics helps them provide much-needed services to people in underserved communities who often have little to no access to such specialized services,” said Audrey Harvey, executive director and chief executive officer of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation. “We congratulate the clinics that received these grants and are opening the door to life-changing and even life-saving care for so many people.” In addition to the specialty care grants, Blue Cross also awarded grants to 48 Michigan safety net clinics as part of its “Strengthening the Safety Net” program. Now in its 11th year, the program provides free or low-cost medical and dental treatment for uninsured, underinsured and newly insured Michigan residents. Under the “Strengthening the Safety Net” program, eligible clinics received up to $20,000 to support operations or enhance services. Blue Cross has provided more than $11 million in grant funds since the “Strengthening the Safety Net” program was created in 2004. According to Healthy People 2020, people with a regular source of health care have better health outcomes and fewer disparities in costs. As in the past, all grantees are expected to provide health care and enrollment services and clinical quality assurance.
Strengthening the Safety Net 2015 Grantees
Clinic NameCityCountyDental or MedicalAmount
1ACC Community Health CenterDearbornWayneMedical match$20,000
2AuSable Free ClinicGraylingCrawfordMedical match$20,000
3Barry Community Free ClinicHastingsBarryDental$15,000
4Baxter Community CenterGrand RapidsKentDental$15,000
5Boyne Area Free ClinicBoyne CityCharlevoixMedical$10,000
6Cabrini ClinicDetroitWayneMedical match$20,000
7Care Free Dental of Dickinson & FlorenceIron MountainDickinsonDental$15,000
8Caring Heart Health ClinicMarletteSanilacMedical$10,000
9Catherine’s Health CenterGrand RapidsKentMedical match$20,000
10Centro Multicultural La FamiliaPontiacOaklandMedical match$20,000
11City on a Hill Health ClinicZeelandOttawaMedical match$20,000
12Community HealthCare ConnectionsBattle CreekCalhounMedical$10,000
13Cristo Rey Community CenterLansingInghamMedical match$20,000
14Dr. Gary Burnstein Community Health ClinicPontiacOaklandDental$15,000
15FernCare Free ClinicFerndaleOaklandDental$9,700
16Fountain ClinicMarshallCalhounDental$15,000
17Genesee County Free Medical ClinicFlintGeneseeMedical match$20,000
18Health Intervention ServicesGrand RapidsKentDental$15,000
19Helen M. Nickless Volunteer ClinicEssexvilleBayMedical$10,000
20His Healing HandsLansingInghamMedical match$20,000
21Holland Free Health ClinicHollandOttawaMedical match$20,000
22Hope House Free Medical ClinicBig RapidsMecostaMedical$10,000
23Hope Medical ClinicWestlandWayneMedical$10,000
24Hope Medical ClinicYpsilantiWashtenawDental$15,000
25HUDA ClinicDetroitWayneDental$15,000
26Jewish Vocational ServicesSouthfieldOaklandDental$15,000
27Love in the Name of Christ Free ClinicGrand HavenOttawaDental$15,000
28Loving Hands ClinicLapeerLapeerDental$15,000
29Medical Outreach ClinicClinton Twp.MacombMedical match$20,000
30Mercy PlacePontiacOaklandMedical match$20,000
31Northern Care CenterCheboyganCheboyganMedical$10,000
32Oasis of Hope CenterGrand RapidsKentMedical$10,000
33Order of Malta ClinicDetroitWayneDental$15,000
34People's Clinic For Better HealthPort HuronSt. ClairMedical$10,000
35Presbyterian Health Clinic of Branch CountyColdwaterBranchMedical$10,000
36Renewed Hope Health ClinicAlleganAlleganMedical match$20,000
37Robert R. Frank Student Run Health CenterDetroitWayneMedical$6,500
38Saginaw Area Foundation for Eye CareSaginawSaginawMedical$10,000
39Shelter Association of Washtenaw CountyAnn ArborWashtenawMedical$10,000
40Shiawassee Free Medical ClinicOwossoShiawasseeMedical$10,000
41St. Luke's ClinicJacksonJacksonMedical$10,000
42St. Mary's of Michigan Center of HOPE Free ClinicsSaginawSaginawMedical match$20,000
43St. Peter's Free Clinic of Hillsdale County, Inc.HillsdaleHillsdaleMedical$10,000
44 St. Vincent DePaul Dental ClinicDetroitWayneDental$15,000
45Stehouwer Free ClinicCadillacWexfordMedical match$20,000
46University of Michigan Student Run Health CenterPinckneyLivingstonMedical$7,800
47VINA Community Dental CenterBrightonLivingstonDental$15,000
48Wyandotte Clinic for the Working Uninsured, Downriver Community ClinicWyandotteWayneMedical match$20,000
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, a nonprofit corporation, are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Blue Cross 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 and
Photo Credit: Army Medicine

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