Evans Project Empowers Veterans

A collaborative program between Genesee Health Plan (GHP) and Ascension Genesys Hospital (AGH), the Empowering Veterans of America with Navigation Services (EVANS) Project, is a community-based veteran navigation model of care to identify and assist Veterans in accessing and navigating the healthcare system by linking them to services and benefits within the Veterans Administration (VA) and the community. The EVANS Project is funded from proceeds of the Ascension Genesys Foundation Charity Classic Golf Outing dedicated to Veteran Navigation services in Genesee County.

GHP and AGH serve as natural access points to identify and assess Veterans seeking healthcare services who may not be aware of the services and benefits for which they qualify. Personal guidance from a Veteran Health Navigator enables seamless movement between VA and community care to achieve optimal health services and access to earned benefits.

Jim Milanowski, GHP President & CEO reflects, “The EVANS Project is very important to Genesee Health Plan (GHP). For years , Veterans have been coming to GHP wanting to have GHP’s health coverage instead of using their VA benefits, as they felt the benefits were too confusing and access to health care was so difficult. The Veteran’s Health Navigator on the GHP staff helps hundreds of Veterans navigate the healthcare system, ensuring access to needed services and making sure veterans qualify for the benefits they are entitled to. GHP is grateful to the support from the Ascension Genesys Foundation and Ascension Genesys Hospital for this project. It is a true partnership”.


Veteran Navigation services, provided by a Navigator who is himself a Veteran, include: Needs assessment and referral to a Veterans Services Officer (VSO) to access services covered by the VA, or referrals for treatment that can be obtained locally; Assisting Veterans in accessing  benefits for which they are eligible and supporting them to effectively communicate their needs to healthcare professionals; and Connecting  Veterans with services to keep them well including community-based preventive health services and chronic disease management programs.  


The EVANS Project has provided education and referral services to over 220 Veterans for VA Health, Dental, and Medicare Coverage; GHP Dental Coverage; Medicaid, Medicare, and  Healthy Michigan Insurance; GHP health services; and other community resources.


For more program information, contact Evan Philburn, Veteran Health Navigator, at (810) 732-8231 or at ephilburn@countyhealthplans.org