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      Traverse Health Clinic receives $100,000 award

      Traverse Health Clinic was honored today with a $100,000 award from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

      The award will support the clinic's plan to transition from a free clinic model to a Federally Qualified Health Center.

      "We are thrilled to once again have their support as we undertake this major change," THC CEO Arlene Brennan said. "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."

      THC 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, 460 specialty visits, and 1,500 dental cases each year.

      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.

      State Senator Howard Walker and State Representative Wayne Schmidt were both in attendance to speak on behalf of the great health care the clinic has provided to those in need.

      "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," Senator Walker said. "This Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan award is a lifeline for many of our neighbors."

      Since 2005, the Blues have provided more than $8 million in charitable contributions to locally operated clinics across the state that provide health 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 offer.