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Innovation & Job News

Local health care sites land grants to help provide services to uninsured and underinsured families


Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan presented $60,000 in Strengthening the Safety Net Grants on Tuesday, November 17 to four Grand Rapids clinics that provide health care services to uninsured and underinsured families in Kent County.

The recipients of the Strengthening the Safety Net Grants are: Baxter Community Center, which received $15,000 to support its dental clinic; Catherine’s Health Center, which received $20,000 for medical service enhancements; Health Intervention Services, which received $15,000 for dental services; and Oasis of Hope Center, which received $10,000 to support its medical services.

Kim Kratz, a senior health care analyst at Blue Cross Blue Shield says the grant program is in its 11th year and has become an important part of these organizations' ability to serve their clients. She estimates the grants have a five-time multiplier impact on the amount of services that are provided.

"All the grants support  operations,” Kratz says.  “All four organizations use volunteers to help with administration so they are able to leverage the grants to provide more services.”

According to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, more than 150,000 Kent County residents are uninsured or underinsured. Combined, Baxter Community Center, Catherine’s Health Center, Health Intervention Services, and Oasis of Hope Center provided free or low-cost medical care through 17,500 primary care and 3,000 dental visits in 2014. The health centers assisted patients in obtaining 4,400 free or low-cost medications and helped 5,500 people enroll in a health plan.

Written by John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor
 
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