The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of GE, and the GE Corporate Diversity Council today announced a total of $500,000 in grants to two Detroit community health care centers: The Wellness Plan – Gateway Medical Center, and Community Health and Social Services (CHASS) – Southwest Center. Funding will be used to increase access to primary care for uninsured and underserved populations across the city.
The GE Foundation provided the grants as part of the GE Developing HealthTMprogram, which provides funding and GE employee volunteer support to non-profit health centers across the United States. These grants build on a $750,000 Developing Health investment GE made to three Cherry Street Health Centers in Grand Rapids, MI earlier this year – bringing GE’s total Developing Health grants across the state to $1.2 million.
“It is estimated that 1.7 million Michigan residents lack access to primary health care due to a variety of barriers,” said Charlene Begley, President and CEO of GE Home & Business Solutions and Senior Vice President and CIO for GE. “We recognize the need for health care is real. Through these grants, GE aims to bring increased access to primary care for underserved populations like the more than 34 percent of uninsured patients that turn to Michigan-based health centers each year.”
Developing Health is a multi-year, $50 million GE program that aims to help improve access to primary care in targeted underserved communities across the U.S. The program aligns with GE’s healthymagination initiative, a commitment to reduce costs, improve quality and increase access in health care.
"If we are going to create a healthier, stronger Michigan, access to quality health care for all of our citizens is a must," said Harvey Hollins III, Director of the Governor’s Office of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives. "I salute GE for its commitment to improving access to primary care for those who need it most. I know the partnerships with The Wellness Plan and CHASS will have a tremendous impact on the health and wellness of those who make the Detroit area their home."
A sizeable GE employee volunteer program accompanies the grants. GE’s Detroit- area Affinity Networks will work closely with the community health centers to assess and manage skill-based support and best practice sharing at The Wellness Plan and CHASS. In addition to any site improvements at the clinics, the GE teams and clinic staff will focus on business-based process improvements and other value-added skills to benefit patients and workflows.
“Each year, The Wellness Plan – Gateway Medical Center treats over 19,000 patients, roughly 95 percent who are uninsured or underinsured, said Anthony King, CEO and Executive Director, The Wellness Plan. “This grant from the GE Foundation couldn’t come at a better time as the number of clients in need of our services continues to increase.”
“We pride ourselves in providing integrated medical, dental, and wellness programs to those in need, regardless of their income or insurance status,” added J. Ricardo Guzman, CEO, CHASS. “We are excited about the added financial and volunteer support that will result in increased access to health care and expanded services including nutrition and behavioral health to the people of Detroit.“
Developing Health is a partnership between GE Corporate Citizenship and the GE Corporate Diversity Council. Modeled after GE’s successful philanthropic program Developing Health Globally™, the program was launched in New York City in October 2009, and has since expanded to Milwaukee, Houston, Cincinnati, Louisville, New Orleans, Atlanta, Erie, Fairfield County, Baltimore, Schenectady, Greenville (SC), Salt Lake City, Wilmington (NC), Chicago, Dayton, Miami, Boston, Grand Rapids, and now Detroit.
The Developing Health Globally (DHG) program was launched in Africa in 2004. This philanthropic program now extends to 13 countries across Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. DHG aims to improve health care for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. DHG uses GE core competencies including technology, expertise and employee engagement to provide sustainable “enterprise solutions” that address some of the critical gaps that exist in developing-world health care facilities.
To further support the Detroit community, GE Vice Chairman and CFO Keith Sherin and GE Board of Director Roger Penske today visited the buildOn Youth Engagement Zone at Western International High School in Detroit. The GE Foundation has donated $100,000 to this buildOn program, in addition to nearly $100,000 that has been donated by GE employees. Sherin serves on the Global Leadership Council for buildOn, which works to reduce poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education.
About the GE Foundation
The GE Foundation (gefoundation.com), the philanthropic organization of the General Electric Company, works to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems. In coordination with its partners, it supports U.S. and international education, developing health globally, the environment, public policy, human rights and disaster relief. In addition, the GE Foundation supports GE employee and retiree giving and involvement in GE communities around the world. In 2010, the entire GE family — including businesses, employees, retirees and the GE Foundation — contributed more than $250 million in cash, products and services to charitable organizations around the world.
GE (ge.com) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works.
Our "healthymagination" vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency around the world. Healthymagination is a $6 billion commitment that was launched in May 2009.