Four Oakland County clinics are among the 47 clinics around the state that will share in more than $860,000 given through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Strengthening the Safety Net Program.
The funding will empower the clinics to provide free or low-cost services (mental health, dental care and medical care) for residents who are uninsured or who are underinsured. Those services do include substance abuse disorder treatments.
Across the state, grant recipients are estimating that they’ll provide services of some sort to more than 60,000 individuals who have inadequate insurance or no insurance at all, using the funding from this program.
The four facilities in Oakland County are Mercy Place Clinic and Dr. Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic, both in Pontiac; Jewish Vocational Services Tri-County Dental Care in Southfield; and FernCare Free Clinic in Ferndale.
Differing amounts were given, depending on the level of service that different health clinics provide.
The Dr. Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic and Mercy Place each received a grant up to $25,000 each as facilities that offer at least 30 hours of services each week. Jewish Vocational Services Tri-County Dental Care and FernCare Free Clinic each received grants of up to $15,000, as clinics that provide urgent and episodic care for more than 100 uninsured or underinsured patients annually, according to MI Blues Perspectives.
“Since 2005, we’ve worked with safety net clinics across the state to help more than a quarter of a million Michiganders gain access to health care,” Lynda Rossi, executive vice president at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan told the Oakland Press. “We’re forging these strategic partnerships to address the needs for primary care, dental care, substance use disorder and mental health services.”
This is the 15th year of the grant program.