Dear Health Fund Partners,
As we all continue to monitor coronavirus developments and adapt to the “new normal,” the health and safety of Michigan residents remains the Health Fund’s top priority. Here are the steps we’re taking to slow the spread of COVID-19 and support our grant partners in this uncertain time.
At the Health Fund
- Going remote: Our work will continue with our staff working remotely as much as possible. Like most organizations, we’ve put a hold on all work-related travel. We’re rethinking or postponing group gatherings, and in general will encourage calls or virtual meetings as an alternative to meeting in person.
- Coordinating our response: We’re in close contact with leaders across government, healthcare, and philanthropy to ensure our response to this crisis is coordinated, strategic, and long-term.
- Telehealth conference update: Our event “The Future of Telehealth in Michigan,” scheduled for April 16th, is canceled. We’re working on hosting a webinar instead, and will distribute details widely when available. This feels fitting, as telemedicine will become even more critical in the coming months and the new format will allow more people to participate.
With our Grant Partners
- Flexibility and understanding: We know that many of our grantees’ work will be affected by the ban on large gatherings, social distancing recommendations, school closings, and other challenges—and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Our program officers will work with partners one-on-one to ensure the health and safety of their own staff as well as the communities they serve, amending grant plans as necessary. We encourage all our partners to follow recommendations and rules from the CDC as well as federal and state government, regardless of scheduled grant deliverables.
- Ongoing grant rounds: Both our Behavioral Health and Nutrition & Healthy Lifestyles programs are currently open, and will stay that way. For now, we plan to stick to the original timelines for submitting full proposals. However, we will review concept papers that come in after the respective deadlines and do our best to provide feedback before full proposals are due.
We are all in this together. All across Michigan, people are managing a steady influx of information, changing norms, and unprecedented challenges. Just like each of you, we are learning as we go and expect our work to continue evolving.
With that said, we want to express our immense gratitude to the many organizations and people working right now to help Michigan weather this crisis. To those helping families in need access food and childcare, helping older adults stay safe, and working on the front lines to serve your communities: thank you.
To those who—like many of our own staff—are adjusting to working remotely, having kids home all day, and trying their best to keep a sense of normalcy while doing everything right: we are right there with you.
We know you’ll have questions about your specific grants and focus areas, so we encourage you to reach out directly to your program officer if you’re not already in conversation. They’re expecting to hear from you and ready to work with you.