The past year was action-packed here at the Health Fund. We nearly doubled our grantmaking, broadened our activities to be more engaged with Michigan communities, and told more stories about the transformative work our grantees are doing across the state. Here’s a look at our top five stories from last December through this December:

Mental Health Mural on BarnLapeer County is Creating a Culture of Mental Health for Seniors

According to the National Council on Aging, one in four seniors experiences behavioral health concerns that fall outside the “normal” aging process, and many of those folks don’t get the help they need. That’s why The Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards launched the Senior Reach program  at 12 sites across the state. We visited the Lapeer County Senior Reach site and wrote about how the program is a game-changer for older adults in communities like Lapeer.


photo of studentTRAILS will Bring Wellness to Michigan Schools

Approximately one in five school-age students suffers from a mental illness, and most do not get adequate treatment. Providing support to hundreds of students with limited resources can stretch the capacity of even the most dedicated school professional, leading to burnout and feelings of helplessness. In this post, we spotlight TRAILS, a University of Michigan program that’s bringing coping skills and mindfulness into Michigan schools.


Plaza Roosevelt Breaks Ground to Create Healthier Neighborhoods in Grand Rapids

Strong partnerships and community engagement are key as one Grand Rapids neighborhood looks to improve health outcomes for residents. The development underway will include affordable housing, a new public high school, storefronts, public spaces, and an expanded medical clinic. Read our post to learn how the community drove the redevelopment process and how they hope positive impacts will ripple across the neighborhood.


Culinary Medicine: Think Like a Chef, Cook Like a Dietician, Eat Like a Local Farmer

The Mediterranean diet is still the gold standard; butter is not, in fact, back; the gut microbiome is a growing field of study giving rise to “prescriptions” for better nutrition. These are just a few of the lessons from this year’s Culinary Medical Conference in Traverse City, the first event of its kind in Michigan. Check out our recap of the event and Michigan’s burgeoning culinary medicine movement.


Image of Northern Michigan road courtesy of Flickr user @collins_familyConversations with Northern Michigan

This fall, Health Fund staff spent a lot of time traveling through Northern Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, meeting with grantees, learning about communities’ challenges, and sharing insights about our grantmaking. In this post, you can read about our “Caffeine and Conversations” events, themes that arose from our up north travels, and why we think being present in Michigan communities is so important for the Health Fund.









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