July 26th, 2017
Hayley Roberts


LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Health Endowment Fund (Health Fund) has awarded more than $6 million dollars to 16 organizations across the state of Michigan, with a special focus on projects addressing the opioid crisis. Aimed at improving behavioral health services for children and older adults, the grants range in amounts from around $150,000 to $500,000. The awardee organizations serve communities in every region of Michigan, from Metro Detroit to Houghton County in the western Upper Peninsula. A full list of awards can be found at the bottom of this release.

Several of the grants support innovative approaches to addressing the opioid crisis and key issues around substance abuse, especially how they affect children. For example, the Michigan Public Health Insititute (MPHI) was awarded $412,347 to support mothers and babies struggling with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, caused when a newborn experiences withdrawal from a substance in the mother’s system during pregnancy. Focusing on prevention, screening, and coordinating care, MPHI will develop the program in Saginaw and Marquette counties, using initial results to develop a replication guide that can be used in other communities.

“The opioid crisis is a statewide challenge in Michigan,” said Health Fund Senior Program Officer Becky Cienki, who oversees the Behavioral Health Initiative. “No community or demographic is immune—Upper or Lower Peninsula, urban or rural, wealthy or economically struggling. We must develop evidence-based solutions that work for all populations.”

Like all grants the Health Fund makes through its proactive initiatives, each of the awarded projects advances integrated care or workforce development. For example, Cherry Health will receive $480,678 to add behavioral health screening, follow-up, and referral to their existing primary care services for people aged 65 and older in Kent County. Henry Ford Health System will receive $500,000 to integrate primary care and substance abuse services at outpatient clinics in Southeast Michigan; in addition, the program will train physicians and other clinical staff in opiate abuse and appropriate opiate prescribing practices.

“We have identified integrated care and workforce development as two areas in which we can have a significant impact,” explained Health Fund CEO Paul Hillegonds. “By threading these two goals throughout our grantmaking, we can help enhance the quality and efficiency of care for Michigan residents, thus improving health outcomes statewide.”

Behavioral Health is one of the Health Fund’s three annual proactive initiatives. The other two are Healthy Aging and Nutrition & Healthy Lifestyles. For more information about the Health Fund and its grantmaking, visit

2017 Behavior Health Initiative Grants (totaling $6,457,081.93)

Catholic Human Services, Inc., Integrated Intervention For Parents With Additions In The Child Welfare System | $449,411
  • This project will develop and implement an integrated intervention model to address substance abuse. An interdisciplinary care coordination team will help parents who are struggling with addiction and have children within the child welfare system in Alpena and Montmorency counties.
  • Areas served: Alpena and Montmorency
Cherry Health, Elevate Senior Health: Behavioral and Physical Health Annual Screening | $480,678
  • The project will improve early detection and treatment of behavioral health issues in seniors aged 65 and older. It will increase utilization of annual wellness exams at three Cherry Health sites in Grand Rapids as well as integrate care management, wellness coaching, referral coordination, and follow up for improved senior health and wellness.
  • Areas served: Kent County
Communities in Schools of Kalamazoo, Integrated Behavioral Health in School | $498,204
  • This project will expand students’ access to behavioral health services by integrating clinicians into five high poverty schools in year one, followed by the addition of five more schools in year two.
  • Areas served: The townships of Kalamazoo, Oshtemo, and Texas
The Corner Health Center, Psychiatric Services for Youth through Community Healthcare (PSYCH) | $282,913
  • (PSYCH) is a collaboration to increase access to integrated psychiatric services for children. The project adds psychiatric capacity to the Corner Health Center and provides training to residents and other clinicians to provide care for stabilized patients or lower acuity patients without the presence of a psychiatrist.
  • Area served: Washtenaw County
D. A. Blodgett-St. John, The Safe Passages Mentoring Program | $287,327
  •  To improve reunification rates of children in foster care, this project connects biological parents dealing with substance use disorders to recovery support services through certified recovery coaches.
  • Area served: Kent County
Eastern Michigan University, EMU Geropsychology Training: Advancing Late-Life Neurobehavioral Health | $391,097.98
  • This project will establish specialty training in geropsychology in Eastern Michigan University’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program, providing older adults with cognitive loss in Southeast Michigan with integrated behavioral health services delivered by doctoral students. Faculty with expertise in geropsychology will model the service delivery and create a training package to sustain the training in the future.
  • Areas served: Washtenaw, Monroe, Lenawee, Jackson, Livingston, Oakland, and Wayne counties
Henry Ford Health System, Opioid Epidemic: Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment in and Office-Based Integrated Care Model | $500,000
  • Outpatient clinics in metro Detroit will utilize an integrated behavioral health care model to provide education, diagnosis, and treatment to those afflicted with opioid use disorders. In addition, this program will train physicians and other clinical staff in appropriate prescribing of opiates.
  • Areas served: Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties
Michigan Public Health Institute, A Systems-Level Approach to Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome | $412,347
  • This project will address integration of care and services for pregnant women and infants impacted by NAS, caused when a newborn infant experiences withdrawal from a substance in the mother’s system during pregnancy.  Focusing on prevention, screening and coordinating care, MPHI will develop the program in Saginaw and Marquette counties, utilizing initial results to develop a replication guide that can be used in other communities.
  • Areas served: Saginaw and Marquette counties
 M.P.A. Group, Washington Elementary School Family Health Initiative | $157,166
  • This project will create a school-based system that integrates behavioral health services, serving family and child needs and enhancing educational achievement. The initiative will educate staff on the impact of childhood traumas, train staff to identify and assist with behavioral interventions, and design educational strategies for students with behavioral health challenges.
  • Area served: Bay County
Northern Lakes Community Mental Health Authority, Family Assessment & Safety Team (F.A.S.T.) | $499,790.95
  • To address the fragmentation of service delivery for children in crisis and the shortage of child psychiatrists in the state and region, this project will standardize a response and resources available to children in crisis. Mobile FAST members will immediately respond to calls for assistance with an integrated assessment, evaluation, and crisis interventions suitable to the child and family needs. This model also has the potential to reduce emergency room visits and inpatient hospital stays.
  • Areas served: Grand Traverse, Crawford, Leelanau, Missaukee, Roscommon, and Wexford counties
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, Reducing Psychiatric Boarding of Pediatric Patients to Assist Families in Crisis | $446,320
  • In partnership with five hospital emergency departments, this project will address the issue of children being boarded in an emergency room while awaiting an inpatient bed or assessment.  On-call psychiatric consultation, staff education, and additional care integration will reduce emergency department board times and inpatient stays, helping children and families in crisis.
  • Areas served: West Michigan, Traverse City, and Indiana counties
The Regents of University of Michigan, Establishing a Michigan Collaborative Care Implementation Support Team to Enhance Access to Quality Mental Health Treatment in Primary Care for Seniors and Low-Income Adults | $499,342
  • This project’s goal is to increase primary care workforce capacity to treat seniors’ behavioral health conditions by supporting implementation of the Collaborative Care Model. This technical assistance project will develop infrastructure for a Michigan Collaborative Care Implementation Support Team (MCCIST) that will support efforts by primary care clinics to implement the care model.
  • Area served: Statewide
The Regents of the University of Michigan, TRAILS to Behavioral Health: Translating Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students (TRAILS) | $353,289
  • TRAILS aims increase access to evidence-based mental health practices by training school professionals in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness. TRAILS has two phases: (1) development of a statewide coaching infrastructure, drawing on existing community-based mental health providers to serve as local coaches; and (2) clinical training to school professionals in every county in Michigan, followed by assignment of a local coach to each participating school.
  • Area served: Statewide
The Ruth Ellis Center, Ruth Ellis Integrated Health & Wellness Center | $261,132
  • This grant supports the continued development of an integrated primary and behavioral health center co-located within a comprehensive drop-in center for homeless, runaway, and at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. It also includes training for integrated care organizations and providers focused on LGBTQ-competent care, including harm reduction and trauma-informed care principles and communication skills.
  • Area served: Metro Detroit
Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center, Integrating Michigan’s U.P Behavioral Health & Primary Care Services | $438,562
  • The project will combine resources of two organizations to provide comprehensive care to individuals in need of substance use treatment. Funding will support new service delivery, training, education, and medical leadership development to create fully integrated health home services and increase the number of addiction-trained physicians in the Upper Peninsula.
  • Area served: Marquette and Houghton counties
Wayne State University, High Touch – High Tech (HT2) | $499,502
  • The project will increase diagnosis and integrate treatment services for pregnant women struggling with addiction and depression. The project combines interactive mobile technology with infant mental health specialists within two prenatal practices in northern Michigan.
  • Area served: Grayling and Alpena


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