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Motor City Match Winner, Plum Health DPC, Brings Affordable, Accessible Healthcare to Southwest Detroit

Dec 12, 2019

Today, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), Mayor Mike Duggan and community members of Corktown joined Motor City Match (MCM) awardee Dr. Paul Thomas at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of his Direct Primary Care practice, Plum Health DPC.

Plum Health DPC, a Round 3 space winner and a Round 5 cash awardee, is among 43 businesses that have received MCM cash grants in District 6, bringing a variety of goods and services to the community. More than half of those businesses are open today.

“It is important for Detroit residents to have access to quality healthcare facilities close to home and Dr. Thomas’ new practice will be a great addition to the southwest Detroit community,” said Mayor Duggan. “His new practice represents one of the ways Motor City Match is strengthening neighborhoods by bringing more of the services residents depend on into their community.”

Two other MCM-awarded business will also be opening in The Corner – Skinphorea Facial Bar and Acne Clinic, and Social Tykes, located in nearby suites at 1620 Michigan Ave. Both businesses are minority/female owned and are expected to open in the first quarter of 2020.

Wayne State University School of Medicine alumnus, Clinical Assistant Professor and Plum Health DPC owner Dr. Paul Thomas started his business as a house-call only practice in 2016, recognizing the need for affordable and accessible healthcare in Detroit. His physical practice began in a one-room office

located inside the Detroit School of Digital Technology, a round 2 MCM cash grantee, at the former Third Precinct police station in Southwest Detroit.

Today, Plum Health DPC has expanded to a team of two physicians and one medical assistant serving more than 600 patients from their office at The Corner in Corktown.

Plum Health DPC uses a membership model for healthcare, charging patients a monthly fee, and billing them directly for specific services. Dr. Thomas said that by eliminating insurance claims for primary care services, he can offer his patients an up to 90 percent reduction in costs. For example, while a hospital might charge $3,000 for an MRI, Dr. Thomas charges only $297 for the same service. A $150 Comprehensive Metabolic Panel costs $6 at Plum Health; a $10 pharmacy charge for blood pressure medication is only $0.36 for patients there.

“Winning an MCM space and cash award allowed Dr. Thomas to build a world-class primary care office in an underserved neighborhood,” said Batton. “With high local demand for the professional health services Plum Health provides, this business is positioned for success and future growth. MCM is pleased to support business owners like Dr. Thomas who are committed to Detroit’s residents and neighborhoods that are providing the type of services that create long-term stability in communities.”

Plum Health also received support from the Build Institute, TechTown and Detroit Demo Day.

“We believe that health care should be affordable and accessible for everyone, and we are very grateful to Motor City Match for allowing us to expand our services, and therefore access to vital primary care resources,” said Dr. Thomas. “The opening of our new Plum Health clinic in Corktown is a pivotal moment not only for us as a business but for the community as a whole.”

The DEGC, specifically through the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit, has been committed to the economic revitalization of the former Tiger Stadium site for 20 years. The EDC acquired the property from the City, which was vacated when the Tigers moved into Comerica Park. The Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority established a TIF plan that allowed for future development on the site and for the eventual reimbursement of public funding spent at the corner of Michigan Ave. and Trumbull.

After the stadium was demolished, two developments were selected through an RFP process – The Detroit Police Athletic League and Larson Realty, the latter that was selected to build a mixed-use development to bring new residential and retail amenities to Corktown. As part of this project, 20 percent of the housing units were held as affordable, and 60 percent of the commercial space was earmarked for subsidized rent in support of local Detroit entrepreneurs. All the MCM businesses located in the Corner will receive subsidized rent.

To date, nearly 1,400 businesses have received assistance from Motor City Match, ranging from business planning, educational programs, technical assistance and cash grants.

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