Niles Community Health Center receives $50,000 grant from BCBS

CASSOPOLIS — Cassopolis Family Clinic Network, a Federally Qualified Health Center serving the communities of Cass and southeast Berrien counties, has received a $50,000 grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. The grant was awarded to assist CFCN in its efforts to expand access to integrated care at the new Niles Community Health Center facility.     

BCBSM has a unique social mission and a commitment to improving the health of Michigan residents, said CFCN officials. Over the past 15 years, Blue Cross has invested more than $15 million in grants to increase access to affordable healthcare and improve health equity. The funding has helped provide free and low-cost medical, dental and mental healthcare services for uninsured and underinsured residents throughout the state.

“Supporting safety net providers who work with vulnerable patient populations is one of the ways Blue Cross fulfills our social mission and enhances the quality of care provided across Michigan communities,” said Lynda Rossi, executive vice president of strategy, government, and public affairs at BCBSM. “We know improving access to integrated medical, dental and mental healthcare is critical to improving health outcomes, addressing health disparities and lowering costs.”

NCHC opened its doors in 2014 just as the state of Michigan expanded Medicaid to nearly 670,000 low-income state residents. Most were people who had no regular source of healthcare and used the emergency room when they were sick. The Health Center provides primary care and support services for people who are covered by most commercial insurances, Medicare, Michigan Medicaid, and has a Sliding Fee Discount Program for those who are uninsured.    

“I speak for everyone at our organization in expressing our gratitude to BCBSM for its generous support of our health center and the important work we are doing in the community,” said CFCN Chief Executive Officer Mary Geegan Middleton. “The grant funds will be used to support the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Program at the new NCHC facility.”   

The new 30,000-square-foot facility has allowed the health center to double medical capacity to care for additional 3,200 patients, create a new home for its obstetrics and gynecology services, and have an on-site pharmacy, officials said. The facility also has a behavioral health wing providing psychiatric and therapeutic services for patients with mild to moderate behavioral health conditions and is currently developing a Substance Use Disorder Treatment Program.     

“CFCN plays an important role in our community by providing easy access to high-quality, affordable healthcare at multiple locations. While our health center provides care for everyone who walks through our doors, we are a safety net provider caring for the area’s most vulnerable population,” Middleton said. 

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