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Forty-Two Free Clinics Across State Share $1 Million in Grants From Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Date:5/20/2008

Grants help clinics deliver care to 90,000 uninsured residents

DETROIT, May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Forty-two free clinics in Michigan that provide low- or no-cost health care to 90,000 uninsured people will share $1 million in grants from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. The grants bring the Blues' total support to free clinics to $4 million since 2005.

Supporting free clinics is part of the Blues' unique social mission to provide affordable health care and improve access to health care for the people of Michigan.

Six new free clinics have sprung up in the state since 2005, thanks in part to Blues grants, including two that expect to open this year in Brighton and Manistee. Grant dollars also have helped clinics meet urgent needs, such as purchasing medications, while allowing others to expand services like dental care.

"New clinic start-ups were high on our priority list for funding," said Lynda Rossi, Blues vice president of public policy and social mission. "And with research providing increasing evidence of the linkage between good oral health and general health, clinics that wanted to begin providing dental services also were given high priority. Many clinics also needed funding just to sustain their current operations.

"We are proud to partner with the Free Clinics of Michigan along with their volunteer physicians, dentists and other health care professionals who provide primary medical and dental care to those who need it most. These clinics deliver vital services to Michigan residents who otherwise might not have access to them."

Joyce Hardy, president of the Free Clinics of Michigan and manager of the Helen M. Nickless Volunteer Clinic in Essexville, said: "The demand is growing every month. These are people who are not getting preventive care and are delaying much needed treatment for life-threatening illnesses. The free clinics are very appreciative of the financial support given by Blue Cross Blue Shield
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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
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