The Health Fund is awarding 42 new grants totaling more than $6 million to recipient organizations from across the state. Grants range in size from $25,000 to $500,000 and will support projects and organizations committed to improving health for Michigan residents. The majority of grants fall within three programs, including Maternal & Infant Health, Community Health Impact, and Capacity Building. (A full list of grant recipients can be found at the bottom of this post.)
Investing in doulas, behavioral health, navigation
The 2023 Maternal & Infant Health initiative is a continuation of our exploratory investments in this field and builds on our previous grantmaking with an aim to reduce disparities, increase access to care, and improve outcomes for babies and their mothers.
Our 2023 cohort includes 12 grants totaling more than $2 million. Funded projects will impact health outcomes for families in 34 counties and work collaboratively with communities and populations that face persistent health disparities and barriers to care.
“Our 2023 cohort presents an exciting mix of innovative, community-driven projects rooted in solutions that we know support better health and birthing outcomes for babies and their parents,” said Laurie Solotorow, who leads the initiative alongside Becky Cienki. “Whether improving service delivery, increasing access to screening and treatment, or addressing the structural barriers that too many families face, these projects impressed us with their collaborative design, vision, and potential for immediate and lasting impact.”
Our 2023 grant selection process emphasized collaborative, innovative, locally focused projects with potential to sustainably address unmet needs and promote equitable access to health. Recommended projects generally align with one of three themes.
Several projects offer solutions to support the doula workforce and increase access to doula care for birthing families. For example, the How YOU Birth Doula Initiative — through a grant awarded to Access Health Inc. — will build a collaborative cohort of 10 trained doulas with a goal of reaching more Black pregnant people in Muskegon County. These doulas will receive training, lead outreach to families and medical providers, and serve more than 140 families from a high-need population.
Other projects will enhance behavioral health for pregnant and postpartum women. For example, Great Lakes Recovery Centers, Inc. will offer a substance use disorder residential treatment house for pregnant and recently postpartum women in the Upper Peninsula. The project will allow expectant mothers to receive care during the last stage of their high-risk pregnancies, and to continue substance use disorder treatment and parenting programming after birth.
A third group of projects will address care navigation barriers.
MyMichigan Health Foundation in Alpena will deploy a model of care known as Centering Pregnancy to increase participation in prenatal care, education, and peer support among families in four rural, northeast Michigan counties.
Other grants in this cohort will adopt novel approaches to strengthening maternal and infant health outcomes, including a home visiting program for infants and new mothers in the Keweenaw peninsula, a support program for young fathers in Washtenaw County, and a community-based doula program for Medicaid-eligible women in the Bay City-Saginaw region.
Promoting local solutions, bolstering community organizations
The Health Fund’s Community Health Impact and Capacity Building grant programs provide support for community-based organizations that are utilizing local data, building collective impact, and empowering community-driven solutions. These programs require applicants to seek out and incorporate the voice of those with lived experience of the health issues they seek to address in the design and execution of their grant-funded projects.
We will make awards through these programs in three phases in 2023. Through the first phase, the Health Fund is awarding 23 grants totaling $2,702,436 for projects falling into three categories.
The Community Health Impact program provides resources to help communities solve their most pressing health issues and successfully implement health-focused, community-driven interventions. These grants are intended to help build stronger, healthier communities around the state by being responsive to community needs and providing resources to create a healthier place.
One example: a grant to Jefferson East, Inc. is helping residents of Detroit’s Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood improve air quality in their homes to mitigate the impacts of 2021 floods and build resilience against future floods.
Grants made through our Organizational Capacity Building program assist health-focused community-based organizations in becoming stronger, more effective institutions within their community by meeting basic organizational needs, allowing them to spend more time and energy focused on their mission and collaborative efforts. For example, a grant to the Area Agency on Aging for Northwest Michigan will help create an electronic process to streamline in-home care provision for area seniors.
Collaborative Capacity Building grants support efforts to build partnerships, increase cross-sector cooperation, and align community efforts to enhance the health of citizens in local communities or statewide. These grants support community-led work to spur progress on key health issues. For example, a grant to the Washtenaw Health Plan Corporation is supporting the Alianza Washtenaw Coalition, a multi-partner cooperative working to increase access to services and health equity for members of Washtenaw County’s Latinx community.
“We know the best solutions to health challenges come from the communities that are most impacted,” said Program Director Megan Murphy. “The grants in the first cycle of our 2023 Community Health Impact and Capacity Building programs will support innovative, community-driven health projects, while creating essential capacity in the organizations and partnerships providing expertise and services across our state.”
2023 MATERNAL & INFANT HEALTH INITIATIVE GRANTS
Access Health, Inc.
Muskegon County How YOU Birth Doula Initiative — $197,567
To provide free training to a cohort of doulas, who will provide education and outreach services in Muskegon County and leverage the new Michigan Medicaid doula policy within the How YOU Birth Doula (HUB) collaborative.
Ascension St. Joseph Foundation
Maternal & Infant Care Coaching, Connections and Capacity — $140,000
To support a health coach in the rural counties of Arenac, Iosco, and Ogemaw to engage patients with the healthcare system and connect them to services based on their specific needs.
Women Supporting Women in the Maternal Infant Health Program — $199,999
To integrate the community-driven Women Supporting Women (WSW) model into the existing Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP) in partnership with the Kent County Health Department. Public health nurses and a mental health ambassador will facilitate sessions focused on mental health stigma, symptoms, causes, and coping strategies.
Council of Michigan Foundations
Collaborative Funding for Early Childhood Funder’s Collaborative — $28,000
To support a two-year, full-time Program Manager for the Early Childhood Funder’s Collaborative (ECFC), a network for grantmakers to learn about, coordinate, fund, and facilitate initiatives that advance early childhood development in Southeast Michigan.
Great Lakes Bay Health Centers
Doulas Improving Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes — $200,000
To implement a community-based doula program targeting Medicaid-eligible pregnant women in Bay and Saginaw counties to provide culturally appropriate non-clinical support to marginalized, low-income women with preexisting comorbidities.
Great Lakes Recovery Centers, Inc
New Hope Mothers and Infants Program — $175,000
To support a dedicated substance use disorder residential treatment house for pregnant and recently postpartum women including a recovery house, specialized childcare, and on-site medical and behavioral health services.
Health Department of Northwest Michigan
Increasing Access for Families in OB Practices and OB Units — $200,000
To address service delivery and access to care by connecting pregnant and postpartum women seeking care at Munson Health OB practices and OB units with a community health worker, who will connect patients to specialized home-visiting and perinatal support programs based on their challenges stemming from social determinants of health.
Ingham County Health Department
Ingham County Doula Cohort — $200,000
To develop a cohort of Black doulas to provide perinatal and delivery support to Black birthing women in Ingham County, including doula recruitment, training, delivery of services, and cohort development all advised by parent and target population voices through community partnerships.
Keweenaw Family Resource Center
Building Healthy Families in the Copper Country — $200,000
To develop a collaborative relationship between pediatric and women’s health clinics and home-visiting services coordinated by a community health worker and home visiting referral coordinator.
Perinatal Social Determinants of Health — $200,000
To screen pregnant women at the local health department, prenatal office, or birthing place for self-disclosed social determinants of health. Positively screened women will be approached by medical professionals who will encourage and facilitate connections to community resources.
MyMichigan Health Foundation
Centering Pregnancy – MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena - $127,364
To use the Centering Pregnancy model to improve and increase access to prenatal care in Northeast Michigan by facilitating a family-centered small group setting that supports patient engagement, provider-patient interaction, and health navigation.
The Corner Health Center
Fatherhood Initiative — $200,000
To support the mental and physical wellbeing of mothers and infants by providing young fathers mentorship and education to ensure ongoing comprehensive healthcare engagement.
2023 COMMUNITY HEALTH IMPACT GRANTS
Access Health, Inc.
Livability Lab – Muskegon’s Community-Driven Change Model — $150,000
To engage rural and underrepresented populations in the Livability Lab project while creating a process of measurement that aligns action with measurable outcomes inclusive of health and economic stabilization.
Community Foundation of the Upper Peninsula (Lead Partner: Youth Empowering Services)
Youth Empowering Services Mentorship Program — $75,000
To expand the capacity of Youth Empowering Services (Y.E.S.) to serve more youth through mentorship and social-emotional support in schools in Delta County and beyond, encouraging positive communication and relationship building between mentors and at-risk youth.
Connected Nation, Inc.
Making Telehealth Accessible for Michigan’s Central UP — $149,954
To conduct a telehealth study in the central Upper Peninsula to foster greater equity by enabling broadband for telemedicine and support distance learning and remote worker development.
Jefferson East, Inc.
Improving Detroit Home Air Quality Post-Flooding — $150,000
To engage community members of Detroit to identify and prevent simple household hazards that can dramatically impact an individual’s health outcomes through home improvements.
Southwestern Michigan Urban League
A Cultural Shift to Preventative Care — $150,000
To engage the local African American and Black community in conversations around the distrust of healthcare providers and systems to encourage community members to gain a better understanding of the healthcare system, promote preventative care, and help the medical community better understand residents’ concerns about seeking care.
Superior Health Foundation
Children’s Mental Health Collaborative Funding — $150,000
To improve children’s mental health through a bi-annual collaborative funding effort led by the Superior Health Foundation and focused on the needs of the Upper Peninsula.
2023 CAPACITY BUILDING GRANTS
ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY BUILDING
Allen Neighborhood Center
A Sustainable Future through Organizational Restructure — $128,739
To help staff re-focus and re-distribute work and focus on new functions, such as creating systems for Allen Place residents to submit feedback, help promote unit vacancies as they arise, and ensure residents are comfortable and connected with the neighborhood and its resources.
Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan
Authorization System Proposal Project — $135,960
To develop an electronic application to eliminate the paper-based process currently in place for the MI Choice Waiver program.
Community Action House
Org Strengthening – Operating System & Development — $50,000
To invest in individual and leadership team-based coaching within the development and communications team to help build the structure and processes for sustained annual fund growth.
Building Evaluation Capacity for Generations Ahead — $58,890
To build an evaluation approach that includes the development of a logic model, identify major evaluation needs, and recruit clients to participate as advisors.
Great Lakes Recovery Centers, Inc.
Expansion of Integrated Care — $149,000
To provide enhanced care by training a psychiatric nurse practitioner and provide clinical integration training for all the staff across the Upper Peninsula.
Evaluating the My Neighborhood Connection Program — $50,000
To conduct a process and outcomes evaluation of the My Neighborhood Connections (MNC) program, a unique independent living model for older adults in Detroit.
Haven of Rest Ministries
Capacity Building – Men’s and Women’s Life Recovery Programs — $30,000
To assist Haven of Rest Ministries in becoming fully credentialed to bill Medicaid for substance abuse treatment services and residential services at both their Men’s and Women’s Life Recovery Programs.
Heart of West Michigan United Way (Lead Partner: Kent County Essential Needs Task Force)
System Facilitation for Kent Co. Essential Needs Task Force —$150,000
To add a full-time system facilitator to coordinate food and nutrition and energy efficiency committees, allowing leadership and other staff to focus effectively on their roles.
Progressive Lifestyles, Inc. (Lead Partner: National Council of Dementia Minds)
Strengthening Support Teams of Dementia Minds Groups — $150,000
To develop a blended learning experience for new support team members, including online on-demand resources and instruction, virtual coaching, and ongoing support from the NCDM executive director, support team members, and persons living with dementia.
Our Hope Association
Capacity Building for a Foundation for Future Growth — $100,000
To build capacity for personnel management, organizational growth, and continuity in program delivery.
The Arc of Northwest Wayne County
Marketing and PR — $45,500
To facilitate a strategic and phased plan for communications to strengthen their connection with clients, update online content and improve storytelling, and develop a public and media relations strategy for the organization.
The Avenue Family Network, INC
2023 Capacity Building — $84,893.00
To implement case management software, which will better track falls, nutritious meals served, and the psychosocial well-being of participants in adult day programs.
COLLABORATIVE CAPACITY BUILDING
Benzie Leelanau District Health Department
Solutions for Clinical and Community Data Sharing: North MI — $150,000
To design technology and conduct a pilot that will enable healthcare and social care partners to integrate data from multiple sources and make bi-directional referrals, shifting toward proactive, holistic, and person-centered care.
County of Kent
Kent County Health Equity Council — $150,000
To continue building the council’s community voice advisory group, which elevates the voices and experiences of community members related to health equity issues, and incorporate their voices into the Community Health Needs Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan processes.
Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association (MEMSPA)
Michigan SEL Alliance (MiSELA) Collaborative Building — $144,500
To formalize the MiSELA collaborative and its mission, grow its network of organizations to include more rural, Upper Peninsula, parent, and student representation, and better define how members can contribute to the work.
Washtenaw Health Plan Corporation
Alianza Washtenaw Coalition: Improving Latinx Services — $150,000
To maintain and enhance the capacity of the Alianza Washtenaw coalition by building on existing partnerships and developing new relationships with other Latinx coalitions, pilot test the newly developed Latinx-Friendly Agency Assessment Tool, and facilitate coaching and inter-organizational learning to improve services to Latinx population.
SPECIAL PROJECTS & EMERGING IDEAS
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Implementation of Homeless Medical Vulnerability Level — $210,000
To pilot a new “flag” within an existing care management tool that local homeless Continuums of Care will use to prioritize individuals experiencing homelessness for housing assistance.
Michigan State University
Flint Kids Rx: Prenatal and Infant Allowances in Flint, MI — $500,000
To advance health equity by proactively addressing maternal and infant economic instability, piloting an unconditional cash transfer program where care providers “prescribe” all expectant mothers a one-time prenatal allowance and all infants (0-1 year) monthly allowances for one year.
Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency
Older Adult Non-Emergency Medical Transport Needs in Iosco County — $122,841
To document the challenges faced by older rural residents in Iosco County when seeking medical care, resulting in a technical report that will provide a deeper understanding of how the county’s lack of transportation options and medical providers is contributing to increased morbidity and mortality of older rural residents and outline recommendations for improving access to health care in the county.
Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan
Improving Care for Older Adults Through Integrated Data — $70,200
To advance the IT readiness of the aging network by procuring a coordinated IT system that can help streamline services across providers to create individualized care plans and share data for care coordination purposes with partners who share the same clients.
Grantmakers in Aging
Strategic Support — $25,000
To maintain Grantmakers in Aging as an important network and resource for the Health Fund staff, providing opportunities for Health Fund staff to enhance our strategy around technology and the role it can play to better support older adults across the state.
Ethel and James Flinn Foundation
Michigan’s Role in a Multi-State Crisis Continuum Co-Op — $90,000
To position Michigan’s participation in the multi-state crisis continuum co-op to amplify efforts in creating a “systems approach” to developing a continuum of crisis care.
Women of Colors
WOC Community Advocacy and Resilience Project — $394,060.00
To reduce well documented racial disparities in timely access to behavioral health treatment after utilizing hospital/emergency department care.