Michigan Health Endowment Fund awards more than $8.5 million to support the health and wellness of seniors and children

Thursday, December 17, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Health Endowment Fund today awarded more than $8.5 million to 29 community foundations across the state, making it the Fund’s second largest distribution of funds to improve the quality of health for Michigan’s children and seniors.
More than 30 community foundations across the state applied for funding through the Fund’s fall 2015 grant application process. Grant requests focused on areas such as: prenatal care and infant mortality; health services to support adopted and fostered children; healthy food access; wellness and fitness programs; access to mental health services; technology enhancements; health-related transportation needs; access to care/integrated care; and teen pregnancy prevention.
The Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan was granted $2.5 million to mitigate food insecurity through their Healthy Food Connect initiative, which includes partnerships with Fair Food Network and the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems. The goal is to increase access to healthy food, improve the quantity of food purchased/consumed, and ensure children and seniors receive healthy food education/training.
The Grand Rapids Community Foundation was awarded $829,500 to provide access to mental health care for youth, and especially at-risk youth through a partnership with the Kent School Services Network. The program will focus on access to mental health services, technology enhancements and health services for runaway and homeless youth, foster and adopted children living in poverty and other at-risk youth. Other awards ranged from $25K to $315K. (A complete list of grant recipients is listed following this release.)
 “The Michigan Health Endowment Fund board is proud to support a variety of very successful programs already positively impacting the health of Michigan’s children and senior residents as a result of its first grant funding effort,” said Rob Fowler, MHEF board chairman. “We look forward to building additional relationships with Michigan’s community foundations and other non-profit organizations as they continue focusing their work to improve the health of Michigan’s most vulnerable residents.”
 Community foundations were eligible to apply for grants in support of programs to improve the health of minor children and seniors in their regions. Those foundations receiving funding, in turn, now have the ability to offer their affiliate foundations or smaller community organizations the opportunity to seek grants that support similar programs. 
“We are excited to collaborate this year with community foundations on projects that seek to enhance the well-being of Michigan’s children and seniors in their local communities,” said Paul Hillegonds, executive director of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.
Community-based, non-profit organizations also were invited to apply directly to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund under a separate grant program for up to $2 million in grants to support programs related to children and seniors. An announcement related to those requests is expected in March of 2016.
The mission of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund is to improve the health of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of health care, with special emphasis on the health and wellness of children and seniors. The fund was created as part of 2013 state legislation that allowed Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to become a nonprofit mutual health insurer. Nearly $38 million in grants were awarded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund last year.
Additional information can be found at the Michigan Health Endowment Fund website at mhealthfund.com.
2015/2016 Grant Recipients
Allegan County Community Foundation
Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation
Barry Community Foundation
Battle Creek Community Foundation
Bay Area Community Foundation
Berrien Community Foundation
Charlevoix County Community Foundation
Dickinson Area Community Foundation
Community Foundation of Greater Flint
Fremont Area Community Foundation
Grand Haven Area Community Foundation
Grand Rapids Community Foundation
Grand Traverse Community Foundation
Huron County Community Foundation
Jackson Community Foundation
Kalamazoo Community Foundation
Lapeer County Community Foundation
Lenawee Community Foundation
M&M Area Community Foundation
Community Foundation of Marquette County
Midland Area Community Foundation
Community Foundation of Monroe County
Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation
Community Foundation of Muskegon County
Community Foundation of Northeast Michigan
Roscommon County Community Foundation
Saginaw Community Foundation
Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan
Community Foundation of the Upper Peninsula
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