By Mike Kruzman /

A Brighton dental clinic is receiving valuable grant money to continue their efforts at providing services to uninsured, low-income Livingston County residents.

The VINA Dental Center is being awarded a $25,000 Strengthening Our Safety Net grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. VINA is one of 49 recipients of the award which benefits not just dental clinics, but also others across the state that offer free or low medical cost and behavioral health services.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Vice President Ken Hayward said, in a release, that by increasing access to care and eliminating barriers for the uninsured and underinsured, they can further move the needle toward better healthcare outcomes for everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status.

VINA and other grantees have agreed to provide patient navigation and assistance with obtaining Healthy Michigan Plan or other coverage, education and assistance with obtaining a COVID vaccine, and referrals to services that can provide needed resources.

VINA’s Marketing and Development Coordinator Samantha Jorgens said that without this grant and others from the Livingston County United Way, many patients would go without care and have pain or further health problems.