LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is gearing up to host its 12th annual Healthy Safety Net Symposium.

The day-long event taking place at the Crown Plaza Hotel focuses on strengthening the capacity of the healthcare safety net to provide care to the state’s most vulnerable populations.

“We see that increasingly a growing number of people have a difficult time sometimes juggling healthcare expenses with gas and food and all the other things. So sometimes people forego care, but these 250 people in the room try to make that choice not a choice.”

Kim Kratz, Senior Healthcare Analyst, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

The symposium will start at 9 a.m. and officials say hundreds will participate.

This event is an opportunity for safety net providers, which our health care providers who give care regardless of a person’s ability to pay, to learn more about how to advance health equity in Michigan.

The theme this year is strengthening partnerships and responding to community voices.

Safety net providers will be able to share with one another their best practices when it comes to responding to healthcare needs in the state.

Blue Cross Blue Shields has invested more than $18 million since 2005 to go towards strengthening safety net grants to help increase access to affordable healthcare.

The symposium will finish at 3:30 p.m.

For more information on the symposium click here.