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Advantage Health Centers Recipient of Grant to Fund New Site with Collaborative Partner

Friday, May 08, 2015  
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On Tuesday, May 5, 2015, Advantage Health Centers (Advantage) received a New Access Point grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant will fund a new Health Center site in the historic Bell Building called the Bell Building Health Center. 

Currently the Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO) provides 110 permanent housing units and related support services for the homeless from the Bell Building located at 882 Oakman Boulevard. In a unique partnership, the NSO will lease approximately 8,700 square feet of the building to Advantage for a new Health Center site to provide medical, dental and behavioral services to both the residents of the building and the surrounding community. 

“The New Access Point funding will not only enable us to deepen our reach within the homeless community, but also introduce primary care services to an underserved area within the community,” said Joe Ferguson, Executive Director, Advantage Health Centers. “We have the potential to provide affordable and accessible health care to an additional 65,000 residents within Wayne County.”  

The Healthy Michigan Plan, an expansion of Medicaid eligibility with income below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, became effective on April 1, 2014. As of April 1, 2015, there were 600,000 new enrollees in the Plan. Ferguson adds, “The Plan created a significant increase in demand for services within the City of Detroit including the new Bell Building Health Center site service area. The enactment of both health care reform and the expansion of Medicaid benefits have placed an increased demand for primary care services for the target population, and as a result, there are not enough providers of care in urban, as well as rural, regions.” 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded approximately $101 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support 164 new Health Center sites throughout the U.S. 

The 9,700 square foot facility will provide primary care for all life cycles, screenings, well child services, perinatal and gynecological care, oral health care, case management, health education, outreach, behavioral health, substance abuse, health screenings and education services on site or through contractual agreements. In addition, referral services for diagnostic radiology, diagnostic laboratory, emergency medical services, and other specialty services will be available. The Health Center anticipates providing limited services at the new site within 60 days and complete services available in the first quarter of 2016. 

Advantage currently serves Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties through five sites and is a Federally Qualified Health Center. Advantage provides medical, dental, pediatric, OB/GYN, and behavioral and mental health services as well as operating a Health Care for the Homeless program. Advantage is one of 12 Michigan Health Centers to operate Health Care for the Homeless programs and currently serves about 6,000 homeless individuals throughout the region. Nationwide, 23 million patients are served through 1,300 Health Center sites located in over 9,000 communities.

About Advantage Health Centers

Detroit Health Care for the Homeless, Inc. (DHCH) incorporated in 1986 to improve the health of our most vulnerable population. In 2003, DHCH expanded its mission to include all of those who are uninsured, or who live in areas where there are not enough doctors available. Since then, DHCH has done business as Advantage Health Centers and now operates a network of medical and dental clinics. As a federally qualified health center (FQHC) agency, Advantage is governed by a consumer-majority, volunteer Board of Directors. Advantage is a 501(c) (3) non-profit agency. For more information on Advantage Health Center, visit

Source: Advantage Health Centers

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