TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., November 26, 2012 – Traverse Health Clinic was today honored with an award in the amount of $100,000 from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM). The award will support the clinic’s plan to transition from a free clinic model to a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and continue as the major primary health care safety net provider in the community. The transition to a FQHC will help the clinic remain financially viable and help sustain its health care programs.
“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which has a strong social mission, has been a longtime partner and major supporter of the Traverse Health Clinic,” said Traverse Health Clinic Chief Executive Officer Arlene Brennan. “We are thrilled to once again have their support as we undertake this major change. This $100,000 grant will enable us to apply to become an FQHC look-alike. As an FQHC, Traverse Health Clinic will continue to grow and serve everyone in our community, including people who have no other place to go for health care.”
Traverse Health Clinic serves a low income population, including working families. The clinic is the medical home for more than 1,700 patients, providing nearly 6,000 primary care visits, more than 460 specialty visits and 1,500 dental cases annually. The clinic has experienced tremendous community support and works with over 500 medical provider community volunteers, representing 75 percent of local health care providers, in addition to over 200 clinic volunteers.
The award was presented to Ms. Brennan by BCBSM President of West Michigan Operations and Managed Care Jeff Connolly, at an event held this morning, in which patients, State Senator Howard Walker and State Representative Wayne Schmidt spoke on behalf of the great health care the clinic has provided to those in need in the Traverse City region.
“Traverse Health Clinic provides an important and irreplaceable service to many families in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties who otherwise would not have access to quality health care,” said State Senator Howard Walker. “This Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan award is a lifeline for many of our neighbors.”
“Traverse Health Clinic and its dedicated team of staff and volunteers deliver outstanding service to our community and this award is the result of a strong partnership between our community and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan,” said State Representative Wayne Schmidt.
“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is proud to support the Traverse Health Clinic and the great health care services it provides to so many in the region,” said Connolly. “The Blues are committed to improving access to health care for all Michigan residents and a facility such as Traverse Health Clinic, which provides essential care to so many families that are uninsured or underinsured, plays a crucial role in Michigan’s health care system, by offering quality health care to the people who need it the most.”
Since 2005, the Blues have provided over $8 million in charitable contributions to locally operated clinics across the state that provide helath care services at no or low cost. The funds serve to help the clinics cover the cost of daily operations and enhance the health care services they offier.
Blue Cross Blue Shield is commited to increasing access to quality health care services and to improving the health status of all Michigan residents.