Genesee Health Plan and Community Partners Launch New “emPOWER Genesee” Program

December 10, 2019

“emPOWER Genesee” helps connect people with utility, health care, financial and other community resources

FLGenesee Health Plan (GHP), Consumers Energy, Ascension Genesys and Huntington Bank recently launched emPOWER Genesee, a new program that helps Genesee County residents and families connect with utility assistance and resources, financial assistance, health care resources and enrollment, and additional community resources while they pay their utility bills.

“A healthy life and well-being starts with making sure people have access to essential needs like water, food, quality health care coverage, utilities and financial tools, which is why we’re partnering with businesses and organizations in the community to launch emPOWER Genesee,” said Jim Milanowski, GHP President and CEO. “emPOWER Genesee’s innovative approach is an excellent example of how public and private organizations are working together to meet people where they are at with their health care, utility and financial needs.” 

Through emPOWER Genesee, a Community Navigator, who helps connect people with community resources, is placed at the Consumers Energy Flint Payment Center located at 3201 E. Court St. in Flint, where approximately 10,000 people pay their utility bills each month. Since the beginning of November 2019, the Community Navigator has made contact with over 1,500 people and connected them to resources including food, housing, furniture, water and health care. The Community Navigator is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

Anita Griffin, Director of Customer Experience and Technology and Brian Lewis, Executive Director of Customer Relations of Consumers Energy

Congressman Dan Kildee, elected officials, community leaders and representatives from Genesee Health Plan, Consumers Energy, Ascension Genesys and Huntington Bank helped launch emPOWER Genesee at a kick-off event in November 2019 that was hosted at the Consumers Energy Payment Center in Flint.

Congressman Dan Kildee

“emPOWER Genesee will help strengthen Genesee County by ensuring people receiving the vital services and care they rely on every day,” said Congressman Dan Kildee. “As a Flint native, I believe in championing projects like emPOWER Genesee because they help improve the lives of Genesee County residents. Through their assistance and resources, emPOWER Genesee keeps our community strong.”

LeeRoy Wells Jr., Vice President of Gas Operations, Consumers Energy

“As an emPOWER Genesee partner, our goal is to connect people and families with a variety of essential resources so they can succeed,” said LeeRoy Wells Jr., Consumers Energy Vice President of Gas Operations. “More than 10,000 people visit our Flint payment center each month to pay their utility bill and we know that some may have additional unmet needs. We welcome having a Community Navigator located within our payment center who can connect residents directly with community resources that they may need.”

Chris Palazzolo, President and CEO of Ascension Genesys

“By delivering community navigation services on-site, we can reduce service access barriers and create an environment that mitigates the impact of the Social Determinants of Health – conditions like poverty, access to healthy foods, transportation, and safe neighborhoods – that adversely affect the health of people in our community if not addressed,” said Christopher J. Palazzolo, President & CEO of Ascension Genesys Hospital and Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital.

Greg Viener, Regional President Mid-Michigan Region of Huntington Bank

“Huntington Bank is proud to partner with emPOWER Genesee to help increase access to financial resources and tools in Genesee County,” said Greg Viener, Mid-Michigan Region of Huntington BankRegional President. “Our goal is to equip people with the resources needed to make the right financial decisions, and we look forward to helping community members take steps toward better physical health and financial health through emPOWER Genesee.”

For more information about the emPOWER Genesee Program, call (810) 339-6377.


Genesee Health Plan (GHP) is Genesee County’s plan for better health which began with the vision to have a community where each person has equal and affordable opportunity to live a healthy life. GHP is a nonprofit health care organization that was launched in 2001 to provide health care coverage and life-saving services to the uninsured residents of Genesee County. The plan has provided more than 90,000 county residents with doctor’s visits, cancer screenings, prescription drugs, x-rays and many more life-saving services since 2001. Learn more about GHP at or call 844.232.7740.

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