LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Health Endowment Fund (Health Fund) has awarded more than $10 million dollars to 18 organizations and agencies across the state of Michigan. The awards span the entire state of Michigan and were made through two programs: Healthy Aging, and Special Projects & Emerging Ideas. Awards range from around $250,000 to $500,000, and a detailed list can be found at the bottom of this release.

The Health Fund’s 2017 Healthy Aging Initiative aims to support the needs of Michigan’s aging population: by 2030, one in four residents of the state will be over the age of 60, and the fastest growing age demographic is women over the age of 85. More than 40 percent of older adults are overweight, 80 percent have at least one chronic condition, and nearly half of all individuals over the age of 85 have some form of dementia.

“While people are living longer, they are more likely to struggle with conditions that negatively impact their independence and ultimately their quality of life,” explained Health Fund Senior Program Officer Kari Sederburg. “Through this initiative we’re supporting programs that will help Michigan residents live full lives, according to their own needs and choices, well into older age.” Sederburg noted that each grant supports either workforce development or integrated care, two goals that cut across the Health Fund’s major initiatives.

For example, Henry Ford Health System will receive $306,375 to expand and test “Knock & Check,” an integration model that trains letter carriers to visit homes of older adults on their well-being, reduce isolation, and connect them to services. Trinity Health Continuing Care will receive $495,000 to pilot a program that “e-prescribes” social services through electronic medical records.

The Special Projects & Emerging Ideas program supports long-term, systemic change by partnering with grantees by invitation after conversations with state agencies and other stakeholders. Awardees in this category include the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, which will receive several grants to work on projects such as “Michigan Model for Health Online,” which will enhance our state’s school health education curriculum with a web-based platform and other improvements. Another Special Projects & Emerging Ideas grantee is the Regents of the University of Michigan, which will receive $500,000 for “Promoting Infant Health and Wellbeing by Engaging Fathers.”

“All of these grants have the potential to improve health outcomes for Michigan residents far beyond this grant cycle,” said Health Fund Chief Executive Officer Paul Hillegonds. “We continue to support organizations that are working hard and smart on the biggest health challenges in our state, and we’re thrilled to partner with the newest cohort of Health Fund grantees.”

Healthy Aging is one of the Health Fund’s five annual grantmaking programs. The foundation is currently accepting proposals for the Nutrition & Healthy Lifestyles Initiative and the Community Health Impact Program. For more information about the Health Fund and its grantmaking, visit

2017 Healthy Aging Awards

  • Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan, Integrating Healthcare and Community-based Services for Individuals with Dementia, $292,064
    • Through a pilot between three physician practices and the Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan (AAANM), this project will seamlessly integrate primary care with community-based programs and provide dementia-specific training for caregivers.
  • Calvin College, Collaborative Inter-professional Falls Prevention Program, $433,394
    • Moving beyond the one-size-fits-all approach, Calvin College and its partners will develop a fall prevention model that identifies older adults’ mobility issues and connects them to services that meet their specific needs.
  • Central Michigan University, Experiential Learning Older Adult Home Visit and Health Improvement Program, $422,455
    • This project will create a replicable model for training health profession students in geriatrics, building the capacity of nonprofit service providers to support older adults living in the community.
  • Genesee Health System, Genesee County Healthy Aging, $500,000
    • A county-wide aging collaborative will provide homebound seniors with medical, mental, and other support services through a mobile health clinic and training community members to assist older adults experiencing mental health challenges.
  • Henry Ford Health System – Global Health Initiative, Knock & Check: Phase Two, $306,375
    • This project will expand and test an aging services integration model where letter carriers visit homes of frail seniors to check on their well-being to reduce isolation, help connect them to resources, and improve health outcomes.
  • Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network, LifeLinks: Home-based Palliative Care Program, $464,000
    • Jewish Hospice will expand the LifeLinks program, a home-based palliative care program for older adults who do not qualify for hospice, improving the quality of life for people with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
  • Michigan State University, THRIVE Network: Educating Dementia Caregivers  on Wellness and Self-care, $500,000
    • THRIVE is a hybrid model of in-person and virtual training that allows caregivers to access information and support from a statewide network of organizations and programs in one place, and to provide real-time feedback about their needs and experiences.
  • Otsego County Commission on Aging, Expansion of Innovative Technology and Aging Program, $360,320
    • Three communities will utilize CommunO2, a new application that centralizes a range of tools to meet the needs of older adults and reduce social isolation. The application prioritizes user safety and security, and through its features users can livestream community and faith events, engage with social services, have virtual visits with doctors, share health biometrics, and more.
  • Region 7 Area Agency on Aging, Community Care Transitions, $500,000
    • This pilot will develop and test an integrated care transitions hospital-to-home model coordinating hospital and primary care as well as community-based programs. Without leaving home, older adults will receive house call medical visits, including mobile x-rays and various other tests, and their electronic medical records will track the individual’s health and supportive services.
  • St. Joseph Mercy, Establishing Geriatric Behavioral Health Services, $462,000
    • An integrated geriatric behavioral health team model will provide support to providers working with geriatric patients, extending the integration of behavioral health services in primary care settings and assisted living communities, and coordinating with community-based services.
  • Trinity Health Continuing Care, E-Prescribing Aging Services through Electronic Medical Records, $495,000
    • This project will “e-prescribe” social services through electronic medical records to improve coordination across providers. Through this approach, making a referral to an aging services provider will be no more difficult for a physician than e-prescribing a medicine through his or her electronic medical record.
  • Upper Peninsula Health Care Solutions, Make a Plan, Share a Plan, $296,243
    • Upper Peninsula Health Care Solutions will improve advance care planning services in the Upper Peninsula through new approaches to training and utilize existing clinical and healthcare staff. This initiative will also integrate with the health information exchange to enable the submission, storage, and retrieval of advance care documents across Michigan.
  • Wayne State University, Frailty Prevention in Older African Americans, $256,076
    • A new integrated frailty prevention model among pre-frail older African Americans living at home will integrate evidence-based, preventative occupational therapy into an established primary care practice, while delivering customized behavioral and rehabilitative programming to at-risk, pre-frail older adults.

2017 Special Projects & Emerging Ideas Awards

  • Hospice of Michigan, Pediatric Chronic Complex Care Program Pilot, $500,000
    • This project will provide home-based care management to support children in Michigan with serious life-long illnesses in order to improve patient outcomes and family satisfaction, while significantly decreasing hospital days and emergency department crisis care for these fragile children.
  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Re:Imagining Integrative Service Delivery, $500,000
    • To improve Michigan residents’ experience obtaining health and human service assistance, this project will develop a user-centered post-eligibility experience that ensures meaningful, tangible supports are provided to address social needs.
  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Statewide Directory and Consumer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools for Care Coordinators, $500,000
    • This project will reduce duplication of care coordination through the integration of a statewide electronic directory and a care coordinator relationship management service, providing resources to bridge the gaps between care coordinators and caregivers.
  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Community Paramedic Project, $500,000
    • MDHHS will develop a statewide model to utilize community paramedics to fill significant gaps in the healthcare system. This model includes standardized outcome measurements, implementation guidelines, and establishing a formal Community Paramedic certification.
  • Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health, Michigan Model for Health Online, $497,265
    • This project will improve health outcomes and academic achievement for school-aged youth in Michigan by enhancing our state’s school health education curriculum, the Michigan Model for Health ™ (MMH). This initiative will build a web-based platform to access the MMH in order to increase utilization, reach, and accessibility.
  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Parental and Caseworker Engagement in Medical/Mental Health Decision Making, $263,722
    • MDHHS will conduct learning collaborative events statewide to develop sustainable relationships aimed at improving the physical, mental, and oral health of children in foster care.
  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Pediatric Behavioral Health Acute Inpatient Access Improvement, $300,000
    • A statewide comprehensive strategy to address the challenge of accessing inpatient psychiatric services for children and adults will reduce barriers to timely access to inpatient psychiatric services and promote smooth transitions of care for individuals with complex care needs.
  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, MLTSS: Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care Supports and Services, $150,000
    • MDHHS will develop a plan, including a robust stakeholder engagement initiative, to create a delivery system that rebalances funding and resources toward home- and community-based services, allowing for better coordination with primary care and aligning with individuals desires to live at home.
  • Spectrum Health, Strong Beginnings, $500,000
    • Spectrum Health will provide enhanced prenatal and inter-conception services to high-risk pregnant women and infants up to 24 months of age. Community Health Workers (CHW) will serve as peer mentors, conduct outreach to recruit high-risk women who might otherwise be reluctant to engage in services, and serve on case management teams with nurses and social workers.
  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Air Quality and Health Assessment Initiative, $500,000
    • This project will identify potential health impacts of the Gordie Howe Bridge on the adjacent neighborhoods in Detroit, and determine whether and what additional actions need to be taken to alleviate any potentially detrimental health impacts on the immediate population living near the bridge.
  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Diversity in Dementia Care, $267,753
    • MDHHS will expand an evidence-based caregiver program to diverse, under-served populations (e.g., Hispanic/Latino and American Indian) through developing culturally designed materials and culturally competent staff, and providing education and consultation to the aging network.
  • The Regents of the University of Michigan, Promoting Infant Health and Wellbeing by Engaging Fathers, $500,000
    • To reduce risk factors associated with infant mortality and other negative birth outcomes, this project will improve the provision of services to expectant and new fathers across Michigan. The project team will implement the Engaged Father program at seven Michigan Healthy Start home visitation sites, and systematize program implementation and evaluation practices across performance sites.



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