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Community Partners Launch New “emPOWER Genesee” Program to Help Residents and Families

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

FLINT – Genesee Health Plan (GHP), Consumers Energy, Ascension Genesys and Huntington Bank today launched emPOWER Genesee, a new program that will help 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, the Community Navigator has made contact with over 1,000 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.

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 this morning hosted at the Consumers Energy Payment Center in Flint.

“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.”

“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.”

“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.

“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 Bank Regional 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.

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