Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan awards $1 million in grants to 53 free clinics caring for uninsured and homeless Michigan residents

November 16, 2011

DETROIT — With the Michigan unemployment rate at 11 percent, many residents live without health insurance, and more than one million Michigan residents are currently uninsured. Many of these people rely on locally-operated, nonprofit clinics as access points for healthcare. Through its “Strengthening the Safety Net” program, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan provides continuous support for the uninsured and underinsured – and today the company announced grant awards totaling more than $1 million to support the operations of 53 free clinics across Michigan.

“Free clinics play a vital role in Michigan’s health care system because they serve as a safety net for the uninsured and provide quality health care to people who need it the most,” said Lynda M. Rossi, BCBSM senior vice president of Public Affairs and Chief of Staff. “These nonprofit clinics help reduce the need for expensive emergency room care and often provide patients with valuable health education and chronic disease management.”

Through its “Strengthening the Safety Net” grant program, the Blues have provided $7 million in grants since 2005 to help free clinics with daily operations and enhance the services they provide. In 2010, Blues funding helped clinics provide approximately 140,000 patient visits.

Clinics applied for noncompetitive grants of at least $15,000, or competitive grants of up to $50,000. Five applicants representing six clinics were awarded the competitive grant funding, and all 53 qualified applicants received noncompetitive grant funding.

The noncompetitive grant funding is targeted at continuing existing operations, extending operating hours or adding services. Competitive grants were awarded to clinics that identified clear gaps in safety net coverage and outlined plans to address the gaps in a creative and sustainable way.

“The need for free health services in our community is great,” said Sister Mary Ellen Howard, executive director of St. Frances Cabrini Clinic in Detroit, the oldest free clinic in the United States. The clinic is using much of its competitive and noncompetitive grants, totaling $65,000, to fund a Diabetes Action Program. “We provide a variety of health services to the city’s uninsured population, but the Blue Cross grant allows us to empower our diabetic patients to take additional control of their health through education, individual counseling and case management services. This is so essential in helping them manage diabetes, which is very prevalent among our patient population.”

The following free clinics received grants from the Blues this year:

Grants in competitive category:

  • Traverse City: Traverse Health Clinic, 3147 Logan Valley Road, 231-935-0668 
  • Grand Rapids: Catherine’s Health Center, 224 Carrier St. NE, 616-336-8800, in partnership with Health Intervention Services, 15 Andre St. SE, 616-475-8446 
  • Detroit: St. Frances Cabrini Clinic, 1234 Porter St., 313-961-7863
  • Pontiac: The Gary Burnstein Free Clinic, 90 W. University Drive, 248-758-1690 
  • Ypsilanti: Hope Medical Clinic, 518 Harriett St., 734-481-0111

Grants in noncompetitive category:

West Michigan

  • Allegan: Seeds of Grace, 311 ½ Hubbard St., 269-355-1049
  • Battle Creek: Community Health Connections,190 E. Michigan Ave., 269-969-6494 
  • Big Rapids: Hope House Free Medical Clinic, 15085 220th Ave., 231-796-0807
  • Coldwater: Presbyterian Health Clinic of Branch County, 15 Church St., 517-278-7848
  • Grand Rapids: Baxter Wholistic Clinic, 935 Baxter St. SE, 616-456-5310 
  • Grand Rapids: Catherine’s Health Center, 1211 Lafayette Ave. NE, 616-336-8800
  • Grand Rapids: Health Intervention Services, 15 Andre SE, 616-475-1363 
  • Grand Rapids: Oasis of Hope, 522 Leonard St. NW, 616-451-8868
  • Grand Rapids: Project Access, 233 E. Fulton St., 616-459-1111
  • Hastings: Barry Community Free Clinic, 1230 W. State St., 269-945-4444 
  • Holland: Holland Free Health Clinic, 99 West 26th St., 616-391-3610 
  • Marshall: Fountain Clinic, 111 N. Jefferson St., 269-781-0952
  • Muskegon: Muskegon Community Health Project, 565 W. Western Ave, 231-672-3201
  • Three Rivers: Riverside Health Clinic, 207 East Michigan Ave., 269-273-3744 
  • Zeeland: City on a Hill Health Clinic, 100 S. Pine St., Suite 140, 616-748-6009

Central Michigan

  • Ann Arbor: Shelter Association of Washtenaw County, 312 W. Huron St., 734-662-2829 
  • Brighton: VINA Community Dental Center, 400 E. Grand River Ave., 810-844-0240 
  • Essexville: Helen M. Nickless Volunteer Clinic, 1460 W. Center Road, 989-895-4830 
  • Flint: Genesee County Free Medical Clinic, 2437 Welch Blvd., 810-235-4211 
  • Hillsdale: St. Peter’s Free Clinic of Hillsdale County, 3 N. Broad St., 517-437-4041 
  • Jackson: St. Luke’s Free Clinic, 132 Seymour Ave., 517-783-1117 
  • Lansing: Carefree Medical and Dental, 5135 S. Pennsylvania Ave., 517-887-5922 
  • Lapeer: Loving Hands Clinic, 148 Maple Grove Road, 810-667-8933 
  • Pinckney: Faith Medical Clinic, 122 Howell St., 734-474-4627 
  • Port Huron: People’s Clinic for Better Health, 3110 Goulden Street, 810-985-4747 
  • Saginaw: Cathedral Mental Health, 705 Hoyt Ave., 989-759-3356
  • Saginaw: Community Prescription Support, 401 Holden St., 989-907-5602 
  • Saginaw: Saginaw Area Foundation for Eye Care, 5161 Cardinal Park, 1-800-504-4856 
  • Saginaw: St. Mary’s of Michigan GreenHouse Center of HOPE Free Clinics, 723 Emerson Street, 989-907-8340
  • Ypsilanti: Hope Medical Clinic, 518 Harriett Street, 734-481-0111

Southeast Michigan

  • Brownstown Township: Wyandotte Clinic for the Working Uninsured, 23050 West Road, 734-365-3560 
  • Detroit: Dr. Albert B. Cleage Sr. Memorial Health Center, 700 Seward St., 313-874-1300 
  • Detroit: HUDA Clinic, 1605 W. Davison Ave., 313-865-8446 
  • Detroit: Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation, 18917 Joy Road, 313-581-7773 
  • Detroit: St. Frances Cabrini Clinic, 1234 Porter Street, 313-961-7863
  • Detroit: Order of Malta Medical/Dental Clinic, 4860 15th St., 313-894-2240 
  • Detroit: St. Vincent de Paul Dental Clinic, 3000 Gratiot Ave., 313-393-3007 
  • Mt. Clemens: Mt. Clemens Regional Medical Center Medical Outreach Clinic, 1000 Harrington Blvd., 586-493-8000 
  • Pontiac: Mercy Place Clinic, 55 Clinton St., 248-333-0840 
  • Pontiac: The Gary Burnstein Free Clinic, 90 W. University Drive, 248-758-1690 
  • Southfield: Tri-County Dental Health Council, 29350 Southfield Road, 248-559-7767 
  • Warren: St. John Providence Community Health Physicians Who Care, 28000 Dequindre, 586-753-1484 
  • Wayne: Hope Medical Clinic, 35425 Michigan Avenue, 734-710-6688

Northern Michigan

  • Alpena: Free Clinic of Alpena, 1600 W. Chisholm St., 989-354-3888
  • Boyne City: Boyne Area Free Clinic, 624 State St., 231-582-4605 
  • Cadillac: Stehouwer Free Clinic, 521 Cobbs St., 231-876-6152
  • Cheboygan: Northern Care Center, 117 W. State St., 231-333-3019
  • Grayling: AuSable Free Clinic, Inc., 1250 E. Michigan Ave., Bldg D, Grayling, 989-348-0508 
  • Manistee: Manistee Area Community Clinic, 385 Third St., 231-487-3600 
  • Petoskey: Community Free Clinic, 416 Connable Avenue, 231-487-1058 
  • Traverse City: Traverse Health Clinic, 3147 Logan Valley Road, 231-935-0668

Upper Peninsula

  • Marquette: Medical Care Access Coalition, 1414 W. Fair Ave., 906-226-4400 
  • Sault Ste. Marie: Community Health Access Coalition, 143 Arlington St., 906-635-7483

Blue Cross Blue Shield is committed to increasing access to quality health care services and to improving the health status of all Michigan residents. For more information about our promise to Michigan, read our 2010 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Social Mission Annual Report.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan provides and administers health benefits to 4.3 million members residing in Michigan and members of Michigan-headquartered groups that reside outside the state. 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 bcbsm.com.

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