While advocates and critics alike reacted to the House of Representatives’ passage of the American Health Care Act last week, one local organization has provided Detroit residents with healthcare services since the late 1990’s.
Covenant Community Care, Inc. offers medical, dental, behavioral health and a range of other services to thousands of metro Detroiters, both insured and uninsured. The organization recently celebrated its ongoing efforts to serve the city at its annual “Courage to Care” breakfast and fundraiser, which drew about 260 guests to the University of Detroit Mercy’s Student Center Ballroom.
“It’s the look in the eyes of the people we serve I’m the most proud of,” says Covenant’s CEO Paul Propson. “It’s clear that we’ve brought something very valuable and treasured by our community, and a vast majority of the people we serve are fans and supporters of Covenant Community Care.”
While the organization already serves up to 20,000 residents at multiple clinics, Propson says Covenant plans to add a Westland location and build a 20,000-square-foot facility in the Cody-Rouge area, along with offering vision care. But providing services to citizens, especially those who cannot pay, can be a heavy burden. To serve just 5,000 uninsured residents Covenant takes on $2 million worth of expense. The organization acquires the monies in ways that range from writing grants to golf tournament fundraisers, says Propson.
“Courage to Care” is the annual event that shows the organization’s corporate and individual supporters what Covenant has accomplished and gives them an opportunity to contribute to funds that will benefit its patients.
But even with funding, Propson says he and his team sometimes encounter problems a physician can’t fix. When patients’ barriers go beyond medicine Covenant still moves into action, often making referrals to agencies with which they collaborate. Staff and volunteers say the work is all part of a Christian calling to help heal the sick, not just in body, but in spirit.
“One of our great challenges is that people need more help than what a doctor can provide,” Propson says. “One of our solutions is to have nurses and community health workers engage people and go beyond the walls of our help centers to their homes, helping people get to the grocery store, helping people get insurance.”
Covenant invites anyone who believes in helping others to support its ongoing mission.
Editor’s Note: This story is written by TheHUB’s freelance writer Debanina Seaton
Lead photo: Covenant Community Care Board Member Dotti Sharp and her son are ardent advocates of healthcare programs like the ones Covenant provides. Photo by Paul Engstrom