Eight Focus Areas
A STARTING POINT
FOR OUR WORK
Eight key health issues underpin our mission and guide our work. Some correspond directly to a major grant program, while others are woven throughout our grantmaking. Each contributes to our vision of a Michigan in which individuals can access the care they need, families and communities support healthy living, and systems promote equitable health outcomes.
Be sure to review specific grant opportunities and RFPs to learn more about how we’re funding these issues.
Access to Healthy Food
Food insecurity and lack of access to healthy food contribute to a host of physical and mental health conditions in Michigan residents. Our 2020 Michigan Food Environment Scan highlighted the regions of the state that have the highest need for services. The Health Fund supports systemic approaches that promote healthy food access and nutrition education, including in homes, schools, health centers, and communities.
Read our report Michigan Food Environment Scan
Behavioral Health Services
Behavioral health is key to overall wellness, but too many Michigan residents go without this critical care. Our 2019 Behavioral Health Access Study found that 38% of Michigan residents with mental illness and 80% of those with substance use disorder go untreated. The Health Fund supports efforts to increase access to care, with an emphasis on behavioral health workforce expansion, integrated care, and technology.
Read our report Access to Behavioral Health Care in Michigan
Foodborne Illness Prevention
Preventable foodborne illnesses sicken thousands of people daily and severely affect children, elderly, and sick individuals. The Health Fund supports education on the risks of foodborne illness and efforts to reduce the incidence of preventable disease.
Health-Related Transportation Services
Getting to the doctor can be a major hurdle for older adults, people with disabilities, and families with limited transportation options. Our 2020 transportation report [PDF] showed that a tapestry of funding sources and providers attempt to meet this need, but too many still go without care due to lack of transportation. The Health Fund supports health-related transportation solutions that improve local or regional health transportation systems, connect transit and healthcare providers, and engage users in program design and oversight.
Health Services for Foster and Adopted Children
Foster and adopted children often face significant health challenges, many times rooted in complex trauma histories and compounded by poor access to appropriate medical, mental, and oral healthcare. The Health Fund supports efforts to improve access to high-quality, coordinated health services and supports for foster and adopted children, including a full health evaluation and trauma assessment when they enter foster care.
Michigan’s infant mortality rate is among the highest in the nation. The Health Fund supports projects aligned with the State of Michigan’s 2020-2023 Mother Infant Health & Equity Improvement Plan. We prioritize cross-organizational and collaborative approaches supporting full-term, healthy-weight babies; infants safely sleeping; and mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being.
Technology plays a growing role in delivering healthcare, especially expanding and enhancing access to services. We outlined some of the ways it is changing Michigan’s health landscape in our 2019 technology report. The Health Fund supports technology-based projects that have the potential for system-wide improvement; collaborative efforts that prioritize the needs of those who will use the technology; and models that use technology in innovative ways.
Wellness and Fitness
Many chronic diseases can be prevented by improving wellness and engaging in physical activity. The Health Fund supports evidence-based fitness and wellness programs targeted at children and older adults with the potential to inspire lasting behavior and culture change.