GE Foundation Awards $750,000 Grant to Community Health Centers in Grand Rapids

Developing Health Program Aims to Improve Access to Primary Care in Local Communities across the United States

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The GE Foundation - the philanthropic organization of GE - announced today the award of $750,000 in total to three Grand Rapids-based community health centers in an effort to help increase access to quality healthcare across the United States. As part of the GE Developing HealthTM program, these grants will support Cherry Street Health Services in providing increased access to healthcare in the community.

“A recent Community Health Needs Assessment in Kent County reiterated the fact that increasing access to primary care for underserved populations needs to be a top priority for the community,” said Deb Elam, Chief Diversity Officer, GE. “Cherry Street Health Services strives to meet this need on a daily basis and GE is proud to support them through the Developing Health program.”

Developing Health is a multi-year, $50 million GE program that aims to improve access to primary care in targeted underserved communities across the United States. The program aligns with GE’s healthymagination initiative, a commitment to reduce costs, improve quality and increase access in healthcare.

"If we are going to create a healthier, stronger Michigan, access to quality health care for all of our citizens is a must," said Olga Dazzo, director of the Michigan Department of Community Health. "I salute GE for its commitment to improving access to primary care for those who need it most. I know this partnership with Cherry Street Health Services will have a tremendous impact on the health and wellness of those who make West Michigan home."

The grant will be used to support three of the Cherry Street centers - Heart of the City, Cherry Street, and Westside Health Centers. In addition to the grant, GE Aviation in Grand Rapids will provide skill-based and other volunteer support to help the centers.

“We are so excited for Grand Rapids to be selected as the 19th city for GE to launch a Developing Health program”, said George Kiefer, vice president of Avionics for GE Aviation. “Historically, West Michigan is a very thoughtful, philanthropic community. GE will continue to play an active role in the community and help to narrow the gap of quality healthcare for the underserved.”

Chris Shea, Chief Executive Officer of Cherry Street Health Services received the grant today and commented: “We pride ourselves in providing integrated medical, dental, vision, and behavioral health care to those in need, regardless of their income or insurance status. We are honored to be recognized by the GE Foundation and are excited about the prospect of providing increased access to care in West Michigan.”

Developing Health is a partnership between GE Corporate Citizenship and the GE Corporate Diversity Council. Modeled after GE’s successful philanthropic program Developing Health Globally™, the program was launched in New York City in October 2009, and has since expanded to Milwaukee, Houston, Cincinnati, Louisville, New Orleans, Atlanta, Erie, Fairfield County, Baltimore, Schenectady, Greenville (SC), Salt Lake City, Wilmington (NC), Chicago, Dayton, Miami, Boston and Grand Rapids.

The Developing Health Globally (DHG) program, was launched in Africa in 2004. This philanthropic program now extends to 14 countries across Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. DHG aims to improve healthcare for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. DHG uses GE core competencies including technology, expertise and employee engagement to provide sustainable “enterprise solutions” that address some of the critical gaps that exist in developing-world healthcare facilities. For more information on Developing Health Globally, visit: For more information on Developing Health visit:

About Cherry Street Health Services

Cherry Street Health Services is a not-for-profit organization offering comprehensive health services to low-income children and families. Established in 1988, Cherry Street has grown quickly. Since then, they have added a new program site every one to two years. This growth has allowed them to service more in the community and offer more expansive services.

About the GE Foundation

The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of the General Electric Company, works to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems. In coordination with its partners, it supports U.S. and international education, developing health globally, the environment, public policy, human rights and disaster relief. In addition, the GE Foundation supports GE employee and retiree giving and involvement in GE communities around the world. In 2010, the entire GE family — including businesses, employees, retirees and the GE Foundation — contributed more than $250 million in cash, products and services to charitable organizations around the world. For more information, please visit

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at

Our "healthymagination" vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency around the world. Healthymagination is a $6 billion commitment that was launched in May 2009.


Cherry Street Health Services
Emily VanderWoude
1 616 776 2126 or 1 616 826 8808
[email protected]
GE Aviation
Jennifer Villarreal
1 616 241 8643 or 1 616 617 7755
[email protected]

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