Michigan communities are driving solutions to health challenges across the board. The Health Fund just awarded more than $15 million to 60 projects in Michigan, ranging from responses to dementia and elder abuse to support for maternal mental health and school food systems. From small, community-driven initiatives to systemic, statewide models, the selected organizations are pairing innovation with a vision of sustainability to lay the groundwork for lasting change.

Future Proofing Michigan Through Age-Friendly Support

As Michigan gets older, the value and impact of the Health Fund’s Healthy Aging Initiative grows. The grants we selected this year fortify Michigan’s age-friendly services through responses to dementia, elder abuse, and social determinants of health, as well as models to strengthen the workforce and provide respite for caregivers. The goal: to help Michigan communities promote older adults’ health through interconnected, meaningful support, informed by the people the services reach.

“Whenever possible, the Health Fund supports aging projects that are driven by and for Michigan communities—no one understands the needs of older adults and their caregivers as well as older adults and caregivers themselves,” said Kari Sederburg, director of the Healthy Aging Initiative. “These initiatives will help promote independence, decrease loneliness, and challenge what it means to grow old.”

SAGE Metro Detroit is one organization with an ear to community voices—they are building on two Health Fund planning grants to offer Michigan’s only standardized training model for transgender older adults. The program’s workshops will be complemented by an intergenerational timebanking program to expand a volunteer-driven system of support. In total, the program estimates 250 health professionals and caregivers will receive training, and over 500 LGBTQ older adults will receive support.

Progressive Lifestyles, Inc.—through its partner the National Coalition of Dementia Minds—will also follow a community-led approach as they work to increase services for those recently diagnosed with dementia. People living with dementia will provide feedback through a needs analysis and create post-diagnosis resources alongside a consulting team. The resulting resources will be shared with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), nonprofits, and healthcare providers, promoting quality of life of those with dementia and reducing their health care costs.

The 26 awards from this round are listed below. They totaled $7,454,306 and ranged from $41,175 to $500,000.

Advancing Systemic Changes and Statewide Solutions

Alongside localized, community-driven models, the Health Fund is uniquely positioned to support transformative, systemic support. In tandem with community efforts, our Special Projects & Emerging Ideas Initiative opens the door for replication and expansion of successful work within our priority areas. This year, those awards included Medicaid refinements, school food system enhancement, and electronic medical record referral support.

“Health services supporting Michigan residents are only as strong as the systems that drive them,” said Becky Cienki, program director. “The Health Fund’s Special Projects & Emerging Ideas Initiative is one of our strongest tools to improve the efficacy and efficiency of those systems, creating the opportunity for more impact in our strategic priorities.”

One such opportunity is through evaluating the impact of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs), which offer a new model of care with potential to increase access to behavioral health services statewide. MDHHS will work with the Center for Health and Research Transformation to conduct a thorough evaluation of Michigan’s CCBHCs to determine their impact and guide future expansion in Michigan.

Another initiative aims to improve the quality and health of school food across the state—and identify the barriers to doing so. The project will be led by the Michigan Public Health Institute in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Education and Michigan State University’s Center for Regional Food Systems, who will provide recommendations to school food service directors across the state.

All 10 awards from this round are listed below. They totaled $3,948,574 and ranged from $78,650 to $500,000.

New in 2022: Targeted Maternal and Infant Health Support

The Health Fund has supported maternal and infant health since our founding, and our 2021-2025 Strategic Plan called on us to expand our work in this area. The 2022 Maternal & Infant Health Initiative builds on our previous efforts and what we’ve learned from our grant partners over the past several years.

“The goal of this initial grant round specific to maternal infant health was to support projects that address barriers to care for infants and their mothers, including evidence-based interventions, collaborative care efforts, and community-driven solutions that put mothers and babies first,” said Laurie Solotorow, who leads the program alongside Becky Cienki. “We’re thrilled to be supporting these nine initiatives that improve care access for mothers and babies.”

Hillsdale Hospital, for example, will be implementing the Centering Pregnancy group prenatal care model for pregnant women in the surrounding rural communities. The model enables certified nurses, doctors, and midwives to provide women with pregnancy and birth-related information in a group setting—increasing time with the provider, building community connection, and involving moms in their own care. Studies indicate that the model leads to healthier babies and a reduction in racial disparities in preterm birth.

The 9 awards, which totaled $2,495,614 and ranged from $80,000 to $500,000, are listed below.

Additional Awards

The Health Fund’s final grant round of the year also included 12 grants from our rolling capacity building program and 3 awards responding to racial disparities in behavioral health follow-up care.

2022 Healthy Aging Initiative Grants

Area Agency on Aging 1-B
Caregiver Respite Voucher Program | $309,175
To address the lack of affordable and accessible respite care options for family and informal caregivers of older adults through respite voucher funds. The grant is co-funded with support from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

Baldwin Family Health Care 
Using Telehealth to Improve Access to Care, Quality Outcomes | $145,000
To support older adults with chronic conditions through outreach workers, who will help provide primary care, behavioral health, and pharmacy services through virtual consults.

Detroit Area Agency on Aging
Inclusive Health Care Partners-in-Action | $300,000
To address health disparities, coordinate and integrate services, and expand access to technology for older residents and caregivers through community engagement.

Family Service and Children’s Aid
Jackson County Guardian Wraparound Program | $410,395
To work with local courts, Adult Protective Services, Lifeways Community Mental Health, and other service providers to proactively serve vulnerable older adults in the community that are at-risk for guardianship.

Greater Flint Health Coalition
Age Friendly Wellness Councils to Improve Senior Health | $337,425
To build an innovative, community- and person-centered program that will establish 10 age-friendly councils across Genesee County to improve the health and well-being of older adults.

Henry Ford Health System
Telehealth Curriculum Pilot | $374,463
To create, implement and evaluate a telehealth curriculum with three Southeast Michigan residency programs.

Hospice of the Eastern Upper Peninsula
Test Run: Tripling Volunteer Caregivers for Michigan Seniors | $150,000
To develop a network of volunteer caregivers to combat isolation and help homebound individuals maintain their independence to age in place.

Livingston County Catholic Charities
Rural Outreach Specialist and Case Manager | $139,916
To conduct outreach in underserved areas and connect older adults to a broad array of available federal, state and community-based services.

Marlette Regional Hospital
Senior Living Community Outreach Project | $51,506
To improve social connection and improve access to health care for older adults who are receiving long-term care in both residential care settings and in the community.

Metro Solutions Inc.
Expanding the MiEC Framework | $423,607
To connect families with trained eldercare coordinators who help reframe conflicts, putting the needs and wishes of the person receiving care at the center of decision-making.

Michigan Advocacy Program
Michigan Guardianship Diversion Program | $134,300
To bring together key stakeholders that serve older adults and people with disabilities to plan a guardianship diversion pilot project that will be implemented in select Michigan probate courts.

Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness
Integrated Housing Solution | $451,628
To use data integration and enhanced communication to strengthen collaborations between housing and health care partners for homeless older adults in Oakland County and beyond.

Michigan Public Health Institute
Connecting Workers, Adults, and Caregivers for Care at Home | $431,570
To partner with CareLinx, an online platform that allows care workers to control their working conditions and provides families peace of mind through rigorous vetting and training.

Michigan State University
Expanding Dementia Care Support in Underserved Communities | $333,096
To address the disparities in dementia support and services in rural communities and ethnic minority populations through a technology-assisted model built on university and community partnerships.

Michigan State University
Supporting Older Adult Digital Literacy and Health Equity | $96,994
To expand older adult use of technology to access online health resources such as telehealth, enhance social connections, and reduce the negative health outcomes associated with isolation and loneliness.

Presbyterian Villages of Michigan Foundation
Improve Social Connection to Reduce Loneliness in Elderly | $466,047
To bring together current and future healthcare professionals to connect with older adults, recognize social isolation, and share community resources.

Progressive Lifestyles, Inc.
A Confident Journey When Newly Diagnosed with Dementia | $500,000
To address the lack of post-diagnosis resources and support for those living with dementia and their families, championed by people living with dementia.

Region II Commission on Services to the Aging       
Combatting Elder Abuse for Healthy Aging Statewide | $275,190
To facilitate the replication of the successful Safe Haven program to other areas of Michigan, securing safe housing for abuse victims and engaging in a team-based approach to service delivery.

Region IV Area Agency on Aging
Integrated Care at Home | $500,000
To develop and launch a medical provider program offering physical and behavioral health care and care management services in coordination with home and community-based services.

Reliance Community Care Partners
3-Tier MICare Model Expansion across Michigan MI Choice | $249,700
To implement a three-tiered evidence-based model of care that supports older adults and their caregivers to improve health and maximize independence.

Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E.
Advanced Care Planning Integration | $124,000
To give older adults and caregivers tools to have honest conversations about the older adults’ ongoing care, ensuring their wishes are known and honored.

Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders Inc.
Transgender Aging and Intergenerational Engagement Resources | $349,900
To improve health equity, access, and quality of life for older LGBTQ+ adults across Michigan by educating caregivers and expanding successful training and timebanking programs.

UPCAP Services, Inc.
Regional Caregiver Resource Center – A Rural Model | $300,000
To develop and implement a new caregiver resource center that will improve family caregivers’ wellbeing through expanded awareness, outreach and education, and connection to evidence-based caregiving programs and services.

Wayne State University
Hope for Aging Caregivers | $400,000
To improve the lives of aging family caregivers of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities by implementing a peer-to-peer approach that coordinates care, yields cost savings, and fosters system change.

Wayne State University
Integrating Financial Exploitation Prevention | $319,954
To scale a successful financial exploitation risk identification and prevention program across various settings that serve older adults and caregivers, and to develop best practices in financial exploitation detection and reporting.

Western Michigan University
Support Program for College Students as Dementia Caregivers | $148,440
To provide psychoeducational and health literacy skills to support college students who are caregivers for family members with dementia.

2022 Special Projects & Emerging Ideas Initiative Grants

Michigan Center for Rural Health
Enhancing RPM in Independent Rural Hospitals | $499,000
To pilot a remote patient monitoring and chronic care management platform to improve access to care for older rural residents.

The Regents of the University of Michigan in partnership with the Michigan Chapter – American Academy of Pediatrics
EMR Early On Referral Project | $274,422
To integrate an eFax referral template into the existing electronic medical record, allowing pediatricians and family practice providers to seamlessly refer patients to Early On.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
CCBHC Demonstration Evaluation | $495,610
To evaluate Michigan’s CCBHC demonstration to determine their impact on improving access to care.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Doula Medicaid Liaison | $500,000
To prepare existing and potential doulas across the state with knowledge, skills, and support to navigate the Medicaid healthcare landscape.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Grief & Bereavement: Maternal Infant Health Response |$490,000
To support regional collaborative teams to create local bereavement support networks for bereaved families as well as staff experiencing secondary trauma.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Medicaid Beneficiary Engagement | $78,650
To support an environmental scan to identify barriers or gaps across Medicaid programs through the establishment of a Medicaid Beneficiary Engagement Planning Team.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Preventing Child Abuse through Housing Stability | $500,000
To address housing and homelessness as risk-factors for child abuse and neglect through data-driven identification practices, prioritizing more intensive services, housing, and care coordination.

Michigan Health Council
Solution Collaborative: Building Health Workforce Capacity | $361,106
To organize private and public-sector decision-makers to build health workforce capacity together.

Michigan Primary Care Association
Dental Therapy Education Scholarship Program | $250,000
To address oral health disparities through the development of a dental therapist scholarship fund to support the training of the first dental therapists in Michigan.

Michigan Public Health Institute
Exploring School Food Systems to Improve Meal Quality |$499,786
To provide Michigan school food service directors and managers with actionable strategies to improve school food quality through fresh and local produce.

2022 Maternal & Infant Health Grants

Battle Creek Community Foundation
PHA Frontline Provider PMAD Training | $280,970
To provide underserved pregnant and postpartum persons in Calhoun County with increased and accessible access to specialized mental healthcare screening.

Central Michigan University
Project Expand: Expanding Access to Group Prenatal Care | $318,767
To increase access to group prenatal care in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities of mid/central Michigan.

Henry Ford Health System
WIN Network: An Evidence-Based Expansion | $300,000
To reduce disparities in infant mortality by addressing preterm birth and low birth weights through the increased accessibility to group prenatal care in Kent, Oakland, and Wayne Counties.

Hillsdale Hospital
Centering Pregnancy | $80,000
To establish a centering pregnancy-group prenatal care model in rural communities to provide an underserved population with care that engages patients in their prenatal and postpartum healthcare.

Michigan Breast Feeding Network
“No Mom Left Behind” YOLO Clinic Model | $150,000
To plan and implement a prenatal and postpartum clinic in Flint that will address Black maternal health concerns such as preeclampsia, postpartum mood disorders, and barriers to breastfeeding.

Michigan Public Health Institute
Expanding ACEs-Informed Care in MI’s Home Visiting System | $352,623
To expand statewide use of Adverse Childhood Experiences prevention resources in maternal, infant, and early childhood home visiting.

Michigan State University
Addressing Disparities: Hypertension Disorders of Pregnancy | $367,190
To reduce barriers and improve timely access to quality care for Medicaid-insured women of color by integrating a hypertension disorders of pregnancy intervention into community home visiting and clinical sites.

Oakland University
Clinician and Community Interventions to Address Syphilis | $146,064
To reduce syphilis rates through community-informed prevention that increases awareness about risks, testing, and treatment of syphilis among women of childbearing age.

Wayne State University
MI AIM | $500,000
To reduce disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality by assuring access to consistent healthcare for all birthing families through initiatives in the 10 lowest performing birthing sites across the state.

2022 Capacity Building Grants – Cycle 3

906 Adventure Team
906 Adventure Team Capacity Building Grant | $50,000

Catherine’s Health Center
Advancing Team-Based Care to Improve Outcomes and Equity | $50,000

Extended Grace dba Momentum Center
Business Development and Marketing | $50,000

Feeding America West Michigan
Feeding America West Michigan Brand Health Study 2022 | $28,000

Health Department of Northwest Michigan
Assessing External Perceptions to Rebuild Internal Capacity | $50,000

Main Street Calumet dba From the Ground Farmers Market Collective (Fiduciary: Western U.P. Planning & Development Region)
Growing Farmers Markets in the Western Upper Peninsula | $50,000

Mel Trotter Ministries
Collective Impact on Homelessness and Medical Services | $50,000

Migrant Legal Aid, Inc.
Safe Housing Outreach Management System | $15,000

Muskegon CHIR (Fiduciary: Access Health, Inc)
Asset Mapping to Inform Community-Led Food Access Action | $50,000

Ready for School
KIDfrastructure | $50,000

Revive and Thrive Project
IT & CRM Support for Capacity Building | $20,000

SAGE Metro Detroit (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders Inc.)
SAGE Metro Detroit’s Rebranding and Expansion | $50,000

2022 Racial Disparities in Follow Up Care Grants

Self-Help Addiction Rehabilitation (SHAR)
Project Propel Collaborative
| $329,796 

GFM The Synergy Center
Racial Disparities in Behavioral Health | $423,900

Women of Colors
Community Resilience Project Planning | $50,000

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