If you’re looking for a snapshot of the community-driven health initiatives taking place across Michigan, the Health Fund’s 2021 Community Health Impact cohort would be a good place to start. Organizations receiving the 67 new awards are establishing coalitions, building capacity, and responding to their communities’ most pressing health challenges from within.

Megan Murphy, senior program officer, says that this work is particularly crucial in light of challenges created by COVID-19.

“From food access and virtual care to mental health and disparities, the pandemic has heightened the need for health support of all kinds,” she said. “This program is an opportunity for organizations to recognize the gaps and provide data-informed, community-driven solutions.”

We know that no two Michigan communities are identical—each has its own unique health strengths, barriers, and ecosystem. We encourage our Community Health Impact partners to tailor their work to the needs and circumstances of the Michigan residents they serve.

Strengthening collaboration, communities, capacity

The Health Fund allocated the $5.3 million in Community Health Impact funding through three tracks: collaboration planning, community-based implementation, and capacity building. The projects vary in subject area, geography, and scope, but all reflect the Health Fund’s mission to improve the health of Michigan residents of all ages.

The collaboration planning track supports cross-sectoral collaboration in order to spur progress on key health issues. For example, the Washtenaw Health Plan will establish a collaborative to address legal, economic, and health vulnerabilities of Latino families in Washtenaw County. By organizing data, mapping resources, and coordinating services, they hope to strengthen existing support structures for the community. There are 15 collaboration planning grants in this year’s cohort.

The community-based implementation track is the program’s largest and most varied funding category. The Health Fund selected 25 grants that are building stronger, healthier communities by providing responsive interventions to the most pressing health needs. Detroit’s Cass Clinic, for example, provides free medical care to socially vulnerable, medically underserved residents of the Cass Corridor. A patient-community advisory board will ensure community input, health equity training will help volunteers and staff understand patients’ needs and contexts, and a whole-person approach will allow for integrated treatment.

Lastly, the capacity building funding track will cover one-time internal expenses that will improve the effectiveness and sustainability of the organizations’ work, such as enhancements in evaluation, technology, communications, and strategic alliances. For example, a new grant will support Community Action House and Harvest Stand Ministries in combining their food rescue and local farm produce acquisition operations. Through a new database to track operations and a communications infrastructure to promote shared services, they hope to limit food waste and expand local food access in Holland. There are 17 capacity building grants in the 2021 cohort.

We’re thrilled by the quality of these proposals and their potential to make a significant difference in Michigan’s diverse communities.

“When you take a step back and look at these 67 projects all together, it’s stunning,” Murphy said. “The commitment, innovation, and diversity of Michigan’s community-based health work—even through significant challenges—is an encouraging sign for a healthier future.”

Supporting community vaccine outreach

Every so often, we receive a proposal that requires a quicker turnaround than our typical program calendar allows. We expedited three such grants in this round, totaling an additional $1.5 million in funding. The Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) and the Michigan Association for Local Public Health (MALPH) will receive $500,000 each through our Special Projects & Emerging Ideas program to improve COVID-19 vaccine outreach to vulnerable populations. By allocating their grant funding to local community-based organizations, they hope to fill crucial gaps in vaccine access through organizations with longstanding relationships with hard-to-reach populations. We’ll share more information about that work as the initiative develops.

The other expedited grant was awarded through our Behavioral Health Initiative grant program—the University of Michigan is receiving $500,000 to expand their TRAILS program to public schools across Michigan.

The full list of grants, including all 67 Community Health Impact grants and these three additional awards, is provided below.


2021 Community Health Impact Grants


3:11 Youth Housing
Circles of Support for Homeless Youth | Kent County | $100,000

American Heart Association
It Takes a City Collaboration | Detroit | $100,000

Family Support Center of Barry County
Building a Trauma Informed Barry County | Barry County | $40,000

Four County Community Foundation
Improving Health Outcomes for Lapeer County Seniors | Lapeer County | $96,876

Genesis Hope
Greater Villages Community Response System | Detroit | $99,780

Health Department of Northwest Michigan
Behavioral Health Planning Initiative in the NMCHIR | Northwest Michigan | $100,000

Heart of West Michigan United Way
Collaboration Planning for FNC and Food Policy Council | Kent County | $99,999

Henry Ford Health System
Improving Older Adult Healthcare in a Virtual Environment | Southeast Michigan | $99,998

Michigan Breast Feeding Network
Collaborative Action to Advance Black Breastfeeding Justice | Statewide | $100,000

Michigan Primary Care Association
Improving Community Partnerships for Elderly Adults | Statewide | $75,000

Project Healthy Community
Organizational Synergies Advancing Community Health | Detroit | $100,000

Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders Inc.
LGBTQ+ Intergenerational Timebank Collaborative | Southeast Michigan | $100,000

The Regents of the University of Michigan
Title IVE to Prevent Infant Mortality | Statewide | $45,564

United Way for Southeastern Michigan
Southeast Michigan Community Information Exchange | Wayne County | $100,000

Washtenaw Health Plan Corporation
Establishing a Washtenaw Latino Health Services Consortium | Washtenaw County | $100,000


Access to Healthy Foods, Wellness, and Fitness Projects

Center for Health Research and Transformation (CHRT)
Home Nutrition+ Program | Washtenaw County | $100,000

Communities First, Inc.
Flint Culinary Hub | Flint | $100,000

Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program
Whole Student Wellness: A Framework for Life | Detroit | $85,400

Eastern Michigan University
Health Coaches: Wellness and Fitness for Older Asian Americans | Wayne, Oakland, and Kent counties | $100,000

First Tee of Mid-Michigan (Fiduciary: Michigan State University)
Enhancing Youth Physical Activity and Well-being (YPAW) | Lansing (Waverly Community Schools) | $99,692

Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities
Building a Foundation for Community Health | Northwest Michigan | $100,000

Growing Hope
Health Equity in Ypsilanti via a Teen Leadership Program | Ypsilanti | $99,492

Health Emergency Lifelines Program
Transgender Aging and Health Project | Southeast Michigan | $100,000

Ishpeming Public School District
Growing Future Farmers, Healthy Eaters, and Leaders Project | Ishpeming | $86,291

Michigan State University
Developing Health Education Lessons for Tribal Home Visiting | Statewide | $100,000

Michigan Technological University 
Keep the UP Moving During COVID-19 with Exercise is Medicine | Western UP | $100,000

Migrant Legal Aid, Inc.
Improving Health for Migrant and Immigrant Food Workers | Allegan, Barry, Kalamazoo, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Ottawa Counties | $100,000

Southwest Solutions Corporation
Piquette Square Veterans Healing Garden | Detroit | $90,000

Washtenaw Promise
Bob-a-loo. Moving At-risk Children Toward a Healthy Path | Ypsilanti | $34,989

Wayne State University
Partnership to Prevent Obesity in Preschoolers | Detroit | $98,086

Western U.P. Planning & Development Region
Improving Capacity & Healthy Local Food Access in U.P. Schools | Gogebic, Hancock, Houghton, Keweenaw Counties | $100,000

Access to Behavioral Health Services

Crim Fitness Foundation
Mindfulness-Based Resilience Training for First Responders | Flint | $100,000

Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan
Seizure Smart Mental Health Professional Network | Statewide | $20,000

Home of New Vision
Jackson Engagement Center for Substance Use Disorder | Jackson County | $100,000

Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health
Addressing the Behavioral Health Needs of LGBTQ+ Students | Statewide | $100,000

Ten16 Recovery Network
Oasis Development in SUD Treatment Deserts | Arenac, Crawford, Gladwin, Iosco, Lake, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Montcalm, Newaygo, Ogemaw, Osceola, Oscoda, Roscommon, Wexford, Alcona Counties | $100,000

The Guidance Center
Youth Mental Health First Aid Training | Wayne County | $99,685

U.P. Opioid Partnership (Partner TBD)
U.P. Opioid Partnership | Upper Peninsula | $100,000

Health Disparities

Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living
Michigan Adaptive Sports & Inclusive Recreation Initiative | Washtenaw County (Ann Arbor Public Schools) | $100,000

Cass Community Social Services
Social Integration in the Cass Corridor | Detroit | $93,775

Grand Rapids African American Health Institute
The African American Youth Wellness and Mental Health Program | Kent County | $100,000

Special Olympics Michigan
Inclusive Health | Statewide | $100,000

Health-Related Transportation

Huron Valley Ambulance
Community Paramedic Sustainability Collaboration | Statewide | $100,000

Healthy Aging/Caregiving

Bridging Communities
Agencies United for Healthy Aging CHW Activation Initiative | Detroit | $99,240

Habitat for Humanity Detroit
Return Home Safe | Detroit | $100,000

Infant Mortality

Greater Detroit Area Health Council
Brother to Brother | Detroit | $99,557

YWCA Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo’s Maternal/Child Health Universal Access Project | Kalamazoo County | $100,000

Technology Enhancements

Area Agency on Aging 1-B
Oakland Together Social Isolation Lifeline | Southeast Michigan | $89,240

Ferris State University
Telehealth: Increase SUD/OUD Access in a Three-County Area | Mecosta, Newaygo, Osceola counties | $100,000

Michigan State University 
Telemedicine to Improve Healthcare Access for Rural Seniors | Northern Michigan | $100,000


AgeWell Services of West Michigan
Meals on Wheels and Lunch and Activity Centers Tech Growth | Muskegon | $27,500

Atlantic Impact
Our Town Cares | Detroit | $40,418

Catherine’s Health Center
Expanding Awareness of Access to Care | Grand Rapids | $50,000

Challenge Mountain of Walloon Hills, Inc.
Feasibility Study: Adaptive Skiing Lodge & Equipment Project | Boyne City | $50,000

Community Action House
Deepening Collaboration: Lakeshore Food Rescue | Holland | $50,000

The Focus:HOPE Volunteer Management System | Detroit | $50,000

Generations United
Intergenerational Innovation Hub for a Healthy Michigan | Statewide | $50,000

Interfaith Health and Hope Coalition (Fiduciary: Metro Solutions)
Connections of Faith, Health, and Hope | Southfield | $50,000

Agency Integration Project | Southfield | $50,000

Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan, Inc.
Strategic Framework and Succession Planning | St. Clair Shores | $12,800

Mentor2Youth (Fiduciary: Nonprofit Enterprise at Work)
Raising Royalty Capacity Project | Ypsilanti | $16,200

Michigan Health Improvement Alliance
MiHIA and THRIVE Website Redesign Effort | Freeland | $49,830

Packard Health
Creating a Wellness & Prevention Roadmap at Packard Health | Ann Arbor | $50,000

Prevention Michigan, Inc.
Board Development and Rebranding | Lansing | $37,501

United Methodist Community House
The Fresh Market at UMCH | Grand Rapids | $50,000

United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC) Foundation
Tackling Systemic Racism through DEI Training | Chelsea | $38,937

We the People Opportunity Farm (Fiduciary: Nonprofit Enterprise at Work)
Building Blocks | Ypsilanti | $22,300


Additional Grants

Michigan Association for Local Public Health
Outreach to vulnerable populations for COVID-19 vaccines | Statewide | $500,000

Michigan Primary Care Association
Outreach to vulnerable populations for COVID-19 vaccines | Statewide | $500,000

The Regents of the University of Michigan
Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students (TRAILS) | Statewide | $500,000

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