Associate Member Highlight: BCBSM

bcbsm-logoAssociate Member news from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan:  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan awards $25,000 to Exalta Health.  Grant expands opportunities for low-income, uninsured Michiganders!

On January 9, it was announced that Exalta Health, formerly Health Intervention Services, was awarded a grant of $25,000 by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. This grant is part of the more than $1 million of support distributed to safety net clinics statewide by Blue Cross.

Fifty free and low-cost health care clinics across the state will share $740,000 in grants from Blue Cross to expand access to medical and dental care, and five Federally Qualified Health Centers will receive nearly $370,000 to help build their capacity to care for vulnerable patients and support innovation and transformation within Michigan’s safety net.

Annually for the last 12 years, Blue Cross has contributed to Exalta Health to provide medical, dental and mental health care for Michigan’s under and uninsured population in the Burton Heights area of Grand Rapids.

“We are honored to be the largest, private donor to Michigan’s free clinics across the state,” said Lynda Rossi, executive vice president of Strategy, Government and Public Affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Our clinic partners are able to reach tens of thousands of individuals who otherwise have nowhere to turn. Their work takes us closer to ensuring all Michiganders have access to care outside of the emergency room setting.”

In the next year, Exalta Health expects to treat more than 2,000 vulnerable patients providing over 10,000 services that contribute to good health. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 8.5 percent of Michigan citizens are uninsured, which is a 3.9 percent drop from 2010. Over 70% of the patients at Exalta Health are uninsured.

“Safety net providers offer vital, primary health care and dental care services to people across the state and play a key role in Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s mission of expanding access to health care services, enhancing quality of care for patients and addressing major health issues to create a healthier Michigan,” said Rossi.

Bill Paxton, President of Exalta Health, said, “We are delighted to again receive a grant as part of Michigan’s safety-net clinic system. Blue Cross is a great partner in our efforts to provide comprehensive medical and dental services to the community.”

Exalta Health, formerly Health Intervention Services, was established in 1996 to serve underprivileged women with faith-centered medical care. The mission quickly expanded to include all those without access to health care. Located in the Burton Heights area of Grand Rapids since 1998, HIS has become a trusted resource for healthcare in the West Michigan community.

In 2017, HIS changed its name to Exalta Health to more accurately communicate the organization’s focus. Progress has also brought other positive changes including integrating behavioral health into the medical health team, measuring the impact on patients and the community, identifying social factors that impact health, and supporting people where they live and work.

Exalta Health reflects the spirit of Christ by providing compassionate, accessible healthcare. Current services include medical, vision, dental, behavioral health and spiritual care. Service is provided to people of any ethnicity, language, gender, disability, religion or creed. Through a professional staff and over 130 volunteers, Exalta Health provides quality healthcare services that are both affordable and accessible.