Strengthening the Safety Net Grant

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is committed to improving the health of everyone in the state. Over the past 17 years, we’ve invested more than $17 million in Strengthening the Safety Net grants to increase access to affordable health care and improve health equity. Each year, these grants have helped nearly 50 clinics across Michigan provide free or low-cost care for uninsured and underinsured residents.

Now in our 18th year, Blue Cross is grateful for our safety net partners who continue to care for those who are vulnerable, reducing racial and ethnic, as well as economic disparities in access to medical, dental and mental health care and promoting good health.

We know that having a usual source of health care improves health outcomes, reduces health disparities and lowers health care costs. Access to care promotes healthier workers, stronger families, engaged communities and overall cost savings for the health care system.

Partnering with Strengthening the Safety Net grantees is one example of how Blue Cross fulfills our social mission to expand access to health care services, enhance the quality of care and address major health issues to create a healthier Michigan.

Dr. Justin Brox with a patient at the Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic in Pontiac.

Strengthening the Safety Net with Hope Clinic in Wayne and Washtenaw Counties

Hope Clinic provides free medical and dental care, social work services, laundry facilities, food and baby care items to those in need in Wayne and Ypsilanti. In the last year alone, the clinics met more than 50,000 requests for help in Southeast Michigan.

How does Hope Clinic do it? With a very clear vision and over 1,000 volunteers. In their own words, “At Hope, we see the whole person and treat them with dignity and respect. They are worthy of the best we have to offer.”

Hope Clinic responded decisively to the coronavirus pandemic. As infection rates rose, schools closed and workers were furloughed, Hope Clinic tripled the size of the food program to meet the growing need. Volunteers packed up meals and delivered groceries.

In the words of one patient, “Hope Clinic not only saved my life, they helped me find a future.”

Blue Cross’ partnership with Hope Clinic and nearly 50 other free clinics in Michigan is a source of tremendous pride. Together, the Strengthening the Safety Net grantees serve as a lifeline for over 50,000 uninsured and underinsured patients, their families and communities.