Strong collaboratives, improved systems, investments in underserved populations—the Health Fund’s final grant awards of 2020 look past a difficult year into a promising future. Our Healthy Aging and Special Projects and Emerging Ideas programs support organizations that provide care for Michigan residents of all ages, from children with mental health needs to older adults with epilepsy. In total, we’re awarding $13,240,643 to 41 projects, all of which share a common goal of improving and expanding healthcare in all corners of the state.

Caregiving, Care Coordination, and Healthcare

In Healthy Aging, we selected grants in three strategic priority areas: caregiving, care coordination, and improving systems of healthcare. The 26 proposals we chose for funding this round are taking on those topics in innovative and impactful ways, including a caregiver hub addressing the needs of aging Asian Americans, virtual mental health treatment for homebound seniors, and a care transition program to reduce hospital readmissions and keep costs down.

“Despite the unforeseen challenges that COVID-19 has created, these organizations continue to provide empowering, important work to one of Michigan’s most vulnerable populations,” said Kari Sederburg, director of the Healthy Aging Program. “They’re providing older adults with the comprehensive support they deserve.”

That support includes unique programs that are filling crucial gaps in care throughout the state. One example: Michigan Health Improvement Alliance’s ARM4Health initiative, which aims to improve the health and quality of life of Michigan older adults by ensuring that prescribed medications are necessary and appropriate. By improving organizational practices, integrating pharmacists into care teams, and expanding training for future health professionals, they hope to instill lasting medication management improvements throughout Michigan.

Many of the selected projects have a similar aspiration to that of Michigan Health Improvement Alliance—to improve the health of older adults by improving the systems of care that support them. All 26 awards are listed below. The grants totaled $8,398,425 and ranged from $126,470 to $500,000.

Change that outlasts the grant cycle

In our Special Projects and Emerging Ideas grant program, we look for models that have the potential to be transformative, leading to breakthroughs in the Health Fund’s priority areas or replication or expansion across the state. The awards in this round cover a diverse range of issues, including social and emotional learning, data-driven care coordination, behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment, and health equity.

“These organizations are taking a close look at the systems that impact quality of care,” said Health Fund program director Becky Cienki. “Improvements to these systems will have a  positive impact on the health of Michigan residents.”

In many of these projects, those systemic improvements are benefitting a population that is not currently receiving necessary care or support. In one example, the University of Michigan is creating a quality improvement collaborative focused on pediatric sickle cell anemia, a disease that disproportionally impacts African Americans and one in which less than 20% of children are receiving evidence-based care. This innovative model will provide the space and resources build collaboration across Medicaid health plans, providers and MDHHS to effect change.

Collaboration and communication are key to the success of Special Projects and Emerging Ideas projects, as the widespread change they seek often requires a collective and responsive effort from various types of organizations. The strength of these projects comes from the strength of their partnerships.

The 11 awards from this round are listed below. They totaled $4,242,218 and ranged from $200,000 to $500,000.

Additional grants

In addition to the regularly scheduled Healthy Aging and Special Projects and Emerging Ideas awards, we are excited to announce three more grants through our Community Health Impact and Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles grant programs, as well as a commitment of nearly $250,000 to support local suicide prevention initiatives. We’re eager to help these organizations begin their work, so we announced them in their own “Miscellaneous” category. Those awards, which totaled $600,000 and ranged from $50,000 to $500,000, are also listed below.


2020 Healthy Aging Grants

Association of Chinese Americans, Inc. (ACA)
Caregiver Hub: Supporting Asian American Caregivers | $208,405
To address diverse needs of Asian Americans and provide culturally targeted training programs, services, and resources to Chinese and Asian Americans.

Central Michigan University
Living FREE: Fall Reduction by Education and Empowerment | $387,144
To prevent recurrent falls among rural older adults by educating community-based providers on fall prevention best practices.

Central Michigan University
Michigan Interdisciplinary Palliative Care Training Network | $199,944
To tailor and replicate an established model of interdisciplinary palliative care training for primary care and other healthcare providers in Michigan, increasing palliative care knowledge and skills, building interprofessional networks, training providers on billing practices, and providing mentorship among interdisciplinary health care providers.

Detroit Area Agency on Aging
Inclusive Health Care | $157,943
To create a community-wide framework that leverages public and private partnerships to address health disparities in Detroit, identifying opportunities to increase access to care, integrating and coordinating care with community resources, and increasing access to smart phones and computer technology.

Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan
Optimizing Health Outcomes for Older Adults with Epilepsy | $160,000
To promote effective detection and management of epilepsy in older adults, in collaboration with the state’s seven adult comprehensive epilepsy centers.

Henry Ford Health System
Post-ICU Senior Brain Health Initiative | $499,955
To provide specialized care to older adults who have experienced cognitive and psychiatric issues following critical illness and hospitalization in the ICU, including patients surviving COVID-19.

Huron Memorial Hospital d/b/a/ McLaren Thumb Region
Healthcare Where You Are | $340,000
To replicate a successful care transitions model to reduce hospital readmissions and associated costs for older adults in a rural community setting.

Matrix Human Services
Matrix Center – Healthy Senior Living Initiative | $381,150
To address health disparities among low-income senior citizens by increasing access to healthy, fresh food and health screenings.

Metro Solutions Inc.
Eldercaring Coordination | $200,000
To integrate eldercare coordination services in Southeast Michigan courts, using a Florida-based conflict resolution model to adjudicate family conflicts that jeopardize the safety of an older adult, especially those in guardianship situations. 

Michigan Elder Justice Initiative
Home and Community Based Services Ombudsman Program | $493,340
To support older adults in PACE and Medicaid’s MI Choice program, helping with problems related to enrollment, eligibility, inadequate care plans, access to care, reductions or terminations of services, or rights violations. 

Michigan Health Council
The Power of Understanding: Health Literacy & Older Adults | $484,233
To develop and pilot a health literacy provider training program that will improve the capacity of PACE care team members to identify and address gaps in health literacy among PACE participants and their caregivers.

Michigan Health Improvement Alliance
ARM4Health (Achieving the Right Medications for Health) | $477,120
To improve the health and quality of life for older adults by ensuring that prescribed medications are necessary and appropriate.

Michigan State University
Virtual Table: Coordinating Care through Technology in Aging | $199,166
This initiative will address the physical and mental health effects of social isolation among vulnerable isolated older adults in the community, which has been exacerbated by COVID-19. Home delivered meals volunteers will teach older adults to use technology to connect to family and friends, as well as how to participate in telehealth visits.

Michigan Technological University
In-Home Vision Screening in Underserved Seniors | $126,470
To develop and pilot a framework for tailored vision screening programs that can integrate with other in-home, community-based programs.

Oakland University
Technology and Reimbursement Innovation of HOP-UP-PT | $321,075
To establish a reimbursement model and telehealth strategy to sustain the HOP-UP-PT (Home-based Older Persons-Upstreaming Prevention-Physical Therapy) program, which connects older adults to physical therapists who can provide strategies to age-in-place. It will also develop a model for expansion of PT services using current, but seldom utilized, billing codes.

Presbyterian Villages of Michigan Foundation
Affordable Assisted Living for Low & Moderate Income Seniors | $165,800
To develop and sustain affordable assisted living in communities across Michigan, using currently available payment mechanisms to pilot a replicable model.

 Region IV Area Agency on Aging
Southwest Michigan Care Continuum Transformation Strategy | $500,000
To create a community of care model to integrate clinical care with home-based supports and services.

Samaritas C.A.R.E.S. Program | $497,081
To implement dementia care training using Google Glass technology, allowing experts to provide real-time support from a remote location.

Spectrum Health Foundation
Healthy Aging with Medically Tailored Meals | $499,713
To provide easy access to healthy meals, tailored to the medical needs of chronically ill older adults living at home, with a specific focus on older adults with heart disease..

The Regents of the University of Michigan
Healthy Lifetime: Building Resilience to Age in Place | $489,682
To empower older adults to maintain independence by focusing on communication skills, health habits, medication adherence, and problem-solving. This grant will expand the program into Medicaid’s home and community-based programs.

The Regents of the University of Michigan
Partnership for Accelerating Telemental Health for MiSeniors | $199,991
To address barriers to mental health treatment for homebound older adults suffering from depression, using an evidence-based online therapy program specifically designed for older adults with diverse backgrounds and capabilities.

Valley Area Agency on Aging
Valley Area Agency on Aging Telehealth Project | $500,000
To launch a 24-hour virtual assistance program that includes telehealth services and increased care coordination and follow up as patients transition home, including remotely monitoring patients using medical technology devices.

 Van Buren/Cass District Public Health Department
Aging Health Equity & Policy Planning Project | $200,000
To create a community-informed plan to identify and address the root causes of disparate health outcomes among minority older adults living in Van Buren county.

Wayne State University
Financial Vulnerability Tools in Geriatric Medicine | $152,231
To provide methods and new tools to educate health care professionals to identify, prevent, and intervene in financial exploitation of older adults.

Wayne State University
Supporting African American Older Adult Caregivers | $221,992
To provide accessible online Activity of Daily Living training to African American caregivers who may lack the skills, knowledge, and confidence to assist family members with dementia.

William Beaumont Hospital
Food is Medicine: Medically Tailored Meals | $335,990
To provide older diabetic patients with meals at home specially designed to support their recovery after being hospitalized, as well as virtual support from a registered dietician to reinforce healthy eating habits.


2020 Special Projects & Emerging Ideas Grants

Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan
Connected2Care 2.0 | $300,000
To develop and implement best practices for data-driven, integrated care coordination for older adults with complex care needs and achieve statewide integration between Michigan’s Area Agencies on Aging and physical health providers.

 Benefits Data Trust
Increasing Benefits Access for Medicaid Participants Age 50+ | $200,000
To help Medicaid participants aged 50 years and older live healthier, more independent lives by increasing access to public benefits that can pay for food, medicine, and housing. 

Michigan Department of Education
MDE’s CoP: Systemic Social & Emotional Learning | $500,000
To support local schools, community members, and families as they adopt systemic social and emotional learning in policy, training, funding plans, and workforce development.

 Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Care Transition Hospital Readmission Reduction Expansion | $169,934
To improve the quality and effectiveness of hospital discharge planning and post discharge care for older adults in efforts to reduce hospital readmissions, medication errors, and healthcare costs.

 Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Children’s Behavioral Health System Reform | $325,000
To optimize the structure and delivery of behavioral health services to children and youth in order to promote growth, opportunity, and wellness. 

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Developmental Behavioral Treatment in Hospitals | $500,000
To create a new model for Developmental Behavioral Treatment in all state psychiatric hospitals, ensuring patients with complex behavioral challenges receive appropriate care.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation | $499,036
To evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) model, refine the program to better serve participants, and develop a sustainable funding strategy for the program.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
SUD User Role Added to CC360 and eConsent Integration | $500,000
To allow individuals to give consent for health plans and care providers to share substance use disorder treatment information, improving care coordination between providers. 

Michigan Public Health Institute
Assessing Hospital and Health Systems to Promote Equity | $500,000
To work with selected hospitals to identify resources, create implementation plans, and establish a common understanding of a health organization’s role in addressing health disparities to achieve equity in care.

Michigan State Medical Society Foundation
Optimize Medication Therapy Management for Seniors | $280,200
To improve medication management among older adults with diabetes and hypertension by virtually embedding pharmacists into patient care teams and enhancing patient-pharmacist-physician communication.

 The Regents of the University of Michigan
Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease Improvement Collaborative | $468,048
To provide better treatment for individuals with sickle cell anemia by creating a quality improvement collaborative for Medicaid Health Plans.


2020 Miscellaneous Grants

Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association
Community Health Impact | Michigan Community-based Doula Summit | $50,000
To generate a statewide plan for equitable community-based doula care, including policy recommendations for reimbursement.

Bridging Communities, Inc
Community Health Impact | The BCI Volunteer Training Initiative | $50,000
To train volunteers in food handling/preparation, emergency preparedness, identification and reduction of social isolation for services, and awareness of cognitive impairment and elder abuse among participants.

Kids’ Food Basket
Community Health Impact | Hunger Relief, Nutrition Education, and Healthy Food Access | $500,000
To increase access to healthy food and provide nutrition education in communities and schools in Kent County.

Suicide Prevention Collaborative
Behavioral Health | $274,824
To give nonprofit healthcare providers resources to fight the suicide epidemic by funding projects implementing evidence-based interventions to increase access to behavioral health services and increase the ability of staff to recognize suicide warning signs, assess suicide risk, engage at-risk individuals in treatment, and decrease suicidality in individuals receiving care.



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