Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan strengthens the "safety net" through $300,000 grant partnership with St. John Providence Health System®

St. Vincent de Paul Health Center receives funding to increase services to the uninsured

December 19, 2011

DETROIT — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and St. John Providence Health System have partnered to broaden the safety net for local uninsured residents in two of metro Detroit's hardest hit areas of newly uninsured people: Southern Oakland County and the Northwest border of Detroit. The Michigan Blues are awarding Southfield-based St.Vincent de Paul Health Center, operated by St. John Providence Health System, a two-year grant totaling $300,000 to increase specialty and primary care for local residents.

"This grant will give St. Vincent de Paul Health Center more resources to provide patients with valuable health education and chronic disease management," said Diane Valade, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan director of Social Mission. "There is a growing uninsured population in the area and the demand for primary care services is great. A majority of the patients seen at the health center have one or more chronic diseases like hypertension, cardiac disease or diabetes. These conditions require an ongoing relationship with a primary care provider; access to diagnostics, such as labs and X-ray services; and access to medications."

The St. Vincent de Paul Health Center currently provides medical services for adults who are uninsured with income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, translating to roughly $21,000 annually for an individual and $45,000 per year for a family of four.

"This partnership with Blue Cross will allow us to increase our outreach to patients and provide additional care for those in need at the St. Vincent de Paul Health Center," said Tammi Pollum, lead, St. John Providence Community Health. "Our future plans include increasing our medication program and specialty care services while exploring telemedicine opportunities and an electronic medical record system."

Many of the uninsured patients treated at the St. Vincent de Paul Health Center in Southfield have chronic conditions. A holistic approach in managing their care has proved helpful in improving health.

"This clinic saved my life by having the medications I needed to control my hypertension. I feel fortunate to receive services from the professional people here," said Cary Marshall, a patient who lost his job and his health insurance. He came to the clinic with dangerously high blood pressure and was subsequently diagnosed with uncontrolled diabetes. With ongoing treatment and education, Marshall is now successfully managing his chronic health conditions.

Blue Cross Blue Shield is committed to increasing access to quality health care services and to improving the health status of all Michigan residents. St. John Providence Health System is committed to providing spiritually-centered, holistic care, which sustains and improves the health of individuals in the communities it serves, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.3 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. BCBSM also offers dental, vision and hearing plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit

St. John Providence Health System is one of the largest providers of inpatient care in southeast Michigan and one of the largest employers in metro Detroit. St. John Providence Health System provides comprehensive prevention, primary care and advanced treatment programs with more than 125 medical centers and five hospitals spanning five counties. For more information, visit