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Vision Service Expansion


Renovation of historical building adjacent to existing facility to provide comprehensive vision services, assisting in the early detection and treatment of eye related diseases/conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal disorders.

  • Location:  Detroit, MI

  • Contact:  Ricardo Guzman, Chief Executive Officer | 313.849.3920 x200

  • Project Cost:  $1,936,900

  • Status:  $1,921,050

  • Seeking:  $1,921,050

  • Size:  4,500 sq. ft.; 2 floors

Meeting Community Need, Increasing Access, Expanding Services

CHASS is located in a neighborhood that is one of the poorest and densest in Detroit. This vision service expansion will address, among others, two key populations: children in their need for vision screening, and adults in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy. The Vision Center will increase patient capacity by 2,200, providing 5,000 units of care.

Reaching Special Populations

CHASS serves the poor and underserved of Southwest Detroit. Fifty-seven percent of its service area population live below 200% of the federal poverty level. Over two-thirds of its patients are Latino, with the next largest group being African American. Thirty-one percent of total patients have a primary diagnosis of diabetes, hypertension, or obesity. In addition, there is limited availability of vision service for children. Other than CHASS, there is little access to these services delivered with translation for limited English populations.

Improving Outcomes

CHASS proposes the Vision Service Expansion Program (VSEP) to directly address the needs of the community it serves. The high rate of diabetes contributes to a high incidence of diabetic retinopathy. Early screening, diagnosis, and treatment are essential in reducing onset, complications, and pathology of these diseases and conditions. This is also true screening interventions of other diagnosed populations, including those with hypertension and diabetes. Also, the need for the screening of all children for vision disorders and disease is essential to give them a good start in life, including the prevention of disease and correction of vision, contributing to quality of life and educational performance.

Program Innovation / Model of Delivery

The combination of comprehensive primary medical services, including chronic disease management and the Vision Service Expansion Program can provide significant improvement in outcomes. CHASS presently provides quality, comprehensive preventive primary health services. It will continue to do so in its newly constructed facility adjacent to this proposed facility renovation and expansion. This integration of service will improve the synergy of all available services, vision, medical, behavioral, dental, etc. In addition, these services are provided effectively to this medically underserved, including translation and cultural sensitivity. CHASS also provides services to all regardless of ability to pay.

Community Collaboration / Service Integration

Over its 40 years of service, CHASS has developed a system of care with extensive collaboration and service integration. The VSEP will partner with its hospital partner, Henry Ford, to bring specialty services, such as ophthalmic services, on-site. CHASS is also a member of the Southeast Michigan Beacon Community. Its goal is to use health information technology and exchange (HIT & HIE) along with other clinical interventions that are specifically designed to deliver significant, measured results—better quality care, lower health care costs, and ultimately, improved overall health of the population. It is a member of the FQHC Council of Southeast Michigan in collaboration with area FQHCs and FQHC Look-Alikes to address gaps in services and access. It also works with the Detroit Wayne County Health Authority focused on the coordination of care to improve access to care, particularly for the uninsured and underserved. CHASS is also a member of the Michigan Primary Care Association, whose membership includes all of Michigan’s FQHCs and FQHC Look-Alikes.

Innovation in Design

Southwest Detroit has been designated a Sustainable Community by the Local Support Initiative Corporation (LISC). CHASS is a participant in the Sustainable Communities Initiative. LISC is a major investor in CHASS’ new Southwest Center. It has provided pre-development funding and more recently awarded a "green grant” to help further LEED certification efforts in the new Southwest Center, and it has provided a letter of support for the Vision Center.

Impact on Social Determinants of Health

CHASS' REACH Detroit Partnership initiative, as self-care program for diabetic clients to help empower them to achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles as a means of controlling the disease, grew out of a patient-identified need. Similarly, the LA VIDA program, a domestic violence prevention and intervention program, was established after several requests of social work staff to help victims of domestic violence. CHASS proposal for the Vision Center is based upon the needs identified by its patient population, the goal of filling-gaps in service within the community.


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