August 8, 2017
Through our programs and community partnerships, the Genesee Health Plan has helped thousands of Genesee County residents, including those who live, work or attend school in the City of Flint, get information about safe drinking water, nutritious food, health services and health coverage.
If you live, work or attend school in the City of Flint and may have been impacted by problems with the Flint water system, check out these community programs and services:
1. Water Resources
The Genesee County Medical Society recommends the continued use of bottled water for individuals including pregnant women, nursing mothers, children under the age of 6, seniors and those with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems. Flint Cares also offers a helpful guide on determining whether you should use bottled water or water filters.
Programs like C.O.R.E (Community Outreach Resident Education Program) offer outreach and educational information to Flint residents about water use, water filter installation, faucet-aerator maintenance and medical resources.
There are also nine Community Water Resource locations where residents can pick up replacement filter cartridges, bottled water, water sampling kits and bags for recycling water bottles, as well as access to nutrition, mental and physical health services:
Please note Community Water Resource locations in Wards 2 and 3 will close on Aug. 11 and locations in Ward 5, 7 and 8 will close on Sept. 5. Locations in Ward 1, 4, 6 and 9 will remain open after Sept. 5.
2. Nutritious Food
A nutritious diet is essential to living a healthy lifestyle. Foods that are rich in iron, calcium and vitamin C can help limit the absorption of lead in your body. Residents can access nutritious food and other resources at mobile food pantries throughout the city. The sites can vary from week to week; therefore, weekly locations can be found on the Foodbank of Eastern Michigan’s website or by calling 2-1-1.You can also visit foodpantries.org/ci/mi-flint to find a food pantry near you. Below are dates for upcoming food pantries:
Additional resources include Help Centers and the Double Up Food Bucks program. The Double Up Food Bucks program offers residents the opportunity to double their purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables when shopping with their Bridge Card at the Flint Farmers’ Market and participating grocery stores in Flint. Help Centers offer a “one-stop shop” for Flint residents, including lead-fighting foods, bottled water, physical health options, mental health services and personal care items. Locations include:
3. Expanded Medicaid Coverage
Pregnant women and individuals under the age of 21 who were impacted by the problems with Flint water can receive Flint Medicaid Healthcare Coverage. If you lived, worked or received childcare or educational services at an address served by the Flint water system, you may be eligible for coverage. To find out if you are eligible for expanded Medicaid coverage or what your coverage options are, please call our office at (844) 232-7740 to speak with a Health Navigator.
4. Mental Health Services
Coping with stress or anxiety caused by the Flint water crisis? Genesee Health System offers a Mobile Mental Health Unit that travels around Genesee County to provide mental health services. So far, the mobile unit has connected 35,000 residents to mental health services. This service is free for adults and children. Click here for more information.
5. Central Michigan 2-1-1
If you need information about housing, food assistance, utility assistance and other services, Central Michigan 2-1-1 is a 24/7 hotline that can answer questions for residents living in Genesee, Hillsdale, Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Shiawassee, Clinton and Eaton Counties. Simply dial 2-1-1 and you will be connected to a professional who can provide information about local resources in your community.
As part of our mission to share information about health care resources and services for Genesee County residents, our Director of Outreach, E. Yvonne Lewis, provided an overview of available community resources during our WNEM TV5 Health Yes! segment which aired on July 27.
“One of the wonderful things about the Genesee Health Plan is that we can help individuals find health care coverage that is best for them and provide them with additional resources that are available in the community,” Lewis said. “Our team continues to work with our partners to ensure all residents in Genesee County have access to high-quality health care so they can live healthier and happier lives.”
All of us at the Genesee Health Plan are committed to helping Genesee County residents gain access to life-saving health care resources and services. If you have been affected by the Flint water crisis and want to know more about available resources, we encourage you to speak with one of our Health Navigators. Call (844) 232-7740 for more information.
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