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West End Medical Centers Receives $350,000 Grant

GE Foundation continues efforts to increase access to quality healthcare.

The GE Foundation awarded a $350,000 grant to the West End Medical Centers Inc. as part of a wider initiative designed to increase access to quality healthcare, especially in under-served and uninsured areas.

The grant, awarded through the GE Foundation's Developing Health program, extends a partnership between WEMC and the foundation.

It will fund the same projects that were started with the GE Foundation's first grant in 2010. Those programs address diabetes, pediatric dentistry and customer service support.

“Developing Health funds matched with the expertise of local GE teams brings operational improvements and improved clinical care to under-served communities through partnerships with nonprofit community health centers like WEMC,” Bob Corcoran, the GE Foundation's president and chairman, said in a statement.

“These health centers often are the only available means of access to primary and preventive care for millions of uninsured and under-insured Americans across the country.”

Indeed, since forming their partnership, WEMC's diabetes program has grown by 30 percent and 10 percent of those patients have reached acceptable blood sugar levels.

The increased support of the pediatric dental program, also has paid dividends, which allowed WEMC to more than double the number of children seen.

“We are committed to serving those in our community who otherwise might not have access to quality health care. Without support from civic minded corporations like GE, it would be far more difficult for us to achieve our mission,” said William T. Bledsoe, WEMC's senior vice-president and chief financial officer.

In 2012, GE’s Developing Health Atlanta team changed its focus to more skills-based volunteering initiatives.

This year, foundation officials said its team will continue to focus on and pushing to support those programs designed to help local health centers operate more efficiently while simultaneously building client service capacity.

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