Two African American older women sitting and laughingWe’re pleased to announce $14 million in awards to dozens of Michigan organizations working to improve residents’ health and wellness. 30 organizations will receive grants ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 as part of two programs: Healthy Aging and Special Projects & Emerging Ideas. As part of an ongoing partnership around caregiving, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation is contributing $1 million to this grant round in support of caregiver-related projects.

“Michigan’s population is aging, and as a state we must adapt to support older adults and those who care for them,” explained Health Fund Senior Program Officer Kari Sederburg. “In this grant cycle we’re investing in potential game-changers, from projects that address social isolation to initiatives that could inspire a new generation of healthcare professionals focused on supporting seniors.”

One unique approach combines both of those goals: Generations United will work with the Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan to create intergenerational partnerships between local Girl Scouts troops and older adults. Together, they will identify solutions to older adults’ needs and work to address them. In addition to reducing social isolation and generating interest in geriatrics, the program could result in innovative new programs to serve older adults. The program received $207,462 from the Health Fund.

Meanwhile, Michigan State University’s “Building a Strong Caregiver Workforce” project focuses on formal career pipelines and professional development for caregivers. MSU will receive $407,000 to develop a training academy for family and professional caregivers. The academy will provide training for family caregivers, a master trainer certificate, a for-credit certification for high school students, and direct care professional online training.

The Special Projects & Emerging Ideas grant awards support long-term, systemic change. These grants are by invitation only, and have the potential for significant statewide impact on the health of Michigan residents. For example, the Michigan Public Health Institute will receive $499,412 to convene state and local stakeholders to collaboratively address the root causes of racial inequities in maternal and infant mortality.

Here’s a full list of awards with a description of each funded project:

2018 Healthy Aging Grants

Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw | $226,468
Ahead of the Curve Washtenaw
Nontraditional partners such as local businesses and religious and civic institutions will learn to support older adults and their caregivers, and help build a caregiving-friendly community. Partners will receive training to help identify vulnerable seniors, conduct informal assessments, and proactively refer individuals to available resources.

Comprehensive Senior Care Corporation/DBA Senior Health Partners | $123,776
Building Community Collaborations to Support Family Caregivers
This project will build on, streamline, and formalize existing partnerships to support caregivers in Southwest Michigan. Better integrating the health system, aging services, and other providers will reduce caregiver strain and burnout, improving health outcomes for caregivers and reducing costly hospitalization and nursing home care for care recipients.

Connected Nation (Connect Michigan) | $327,535
Improving Telemedicine in Michigan’s Rural Communities
Connect Michigan will use telemedicine to provide access to numerous health-related services in five rural counties that have recently been connected to high-speed internet. The program will improve the health of older adults living in areas where access to traditional and specialty healthcare is highly challenging.

Detroit Area Agency on Aging | $500,000
Passport to Health
A team of health coordinators and nursing students will help older adults set and meet health goals, and connect them to health and wellness services in the community. The project will improve integration among aging services partners and healthcare providers, and introduce geriatric care practice to nursing students.

Eastern Michigan University | $370,703
A Family-Centered Approach to Dementia Caregiving in Cultural Context
This initiative will pilot an Alzheimer’s disease caregiver support intervention designed to be culturally responsive to the needs of the Arab Americans community. The program will target those who provide care for multiple family members, and can provide a model process for developing culturally sensitive caregiving programs for other populations.

Generations United | $207,462
Intergenerational Solutions for Healthy Aging – Reducing Social Isolation Among Older Adults While Building the Future Health Care Workforce
In this intergenerational project, local Girl Scouts troops and older adults will codesign and implement programs that serve older adults’ needs. In addition to alleviating social isolation among older adults, the program will help youth become interested in health professions focused on older adults.

Grand Valley State University | $493,687
A Partnership to Support Aging in Place by the Delivery of On-Site Interdisciplinary Primary Care to Seniors
This project will provide onsite primary care to older adults living in low-income housing in Kent County. Interdisciplinary teams including nursing students will focus on improving mental, physical, and functional health to decrease expensive emergency care, reduce hospitalization, and delay nursing home placement.

Health Emergency Lifeline Programs | $500,000
Silver Rainbow Health Initiative
The Silver Rainbow Health Initiative will open a health clinic in metro Detroit focused on providing care to LGBT+ older adults, the first of its kind in Michigan. The clinic will integrate primary care, mental health, specialty care, and supportive services, and could provide a model for other communities in Michigan.

Henry Ford Health System | $250,000
A Planning Grant to Adapt a Global Health Model to Improve Caregiver Engagement and Deliver Value-Based Care
This initiative will investigate and test new ways to use technology in the patient/caregiver relationship, starting at the point of hospital discharge. The project will evaluate specific applications as well as contextual concerns, like how partnerships between various providers can best reduce the burden on caregivers.

Hospice of Michigan | $495,300
Burnout Prevention in Hospice and Palliative Care Workers
To reduce extremely high burnout rates among hospice and palliative care workers, Hospice of Michigan will design and test a customized intervention program. Developed with input from urban, suburban, and rural clinical staff, the resulting interventions could be used throughout the state to retain and grow this in-demand workforce.

Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness | $159,105
Increasing Health and Housing Outcomes through Integrated Systems
The Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness will investigate the need and possibilities for linkages between housing and healthcare systems. This project will help build a case for strategic integration to improve outcomes for older adults experiencing homelessness.

Michigan Disability Rights Coalition | $495,645
Living Well in Michigan: Caregiver Support
This project will provide education and training for caregivers focused on setting and achieving health and wellness goals. Caregivers will learn how to access information, services, tools, and social support they need to fulfill their caregiver role while also prioritizing self-care.

Michigan State University | $407,000
Building a Strong Caregiver Workforce
To address Michigan’s critical shortage of direct care workers, MSU will develop a training academy for family and professional caregivers. The program will provide training for family caregivers, a master trainer certificate, a for-credit certification for high school students, and direct care professional online training.

Michigan State University | $499,957
Caring for Patients With Chronic Conditions Project: Integrating Internal Medicine Practice and Community-Based Services for Older Adults with Chronic Conditions
MSU will develop a replicable model to educate medical residents about community-based aging services that might benefit their patients. The model could be adopted by internal medicine residencies throughout Michigan.

MidMichigan Health Foundation | $224,874
The Bridge to Belonging: Partnership to End Loneliness
To address social isolation among older adults, this project will develop a system address loneliness as a social determinant of health. Health providers will assess for loneliness and connect older adults to health and social resources in the community.

Oakland University | $201,558
Direct Community Referrals to the Hop-Up-Pt (Home-Based Older Persons-Upstreaming Prevention-Physical Therapy) Program
This project will deliver preventative physical therapy to older adults in their homes, addressing mobility issues before they become critical. Five senior centers will refer vulnerable seniors for treatment, which will be tailored to each individual and help participants maintain independence and age in place.

Presbyterian Villages of Michigan Foundation | $250,000
Students at PACE
To increase the number of professionals working in the aging services field, this project will provide exposure to the field of gerontology and aging services. PVM will place future health professionals at PACE (Programs for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) programs, where students work directly with older adults and PACE staff.

Region 3B Area Agency on Aging | $477,050
Community Approach to Care and Health for Seniors
This project will improve care for rural, vulnerable older adults in Southwest Michigan. A mobile health and learning lab will increase access to medical and social resources in the community, and expanding the integration of community health workers into primary care, pharmacy, and hospital systems.

The Regents of the University of Michigan | $495,891
Optimizing Safe Medication Use in Older Adults via In-Home Telepharmacy
UM will improve medication management and safety by using technology to integrate disparate aspects of the process, including electronic medical records, caregiver coordination, and often overlooked factors like health literacy. Ultimately, the program hopes to create a telepharmacy model to help pharmacy technicians optimize safe medication use by older adults

St. Louis Center for Exceptional Children and Adults | $213,950
Montessori-Inspired Lifestyle for Older Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Dementia
Focused on older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as those with dementia, this program uses stimulating sensory activities to reconnect to individuals who may seem unreachable. Serving low-income older adults and their caregivers, the program could transform standard practice for delivering care to this underserved population.

Trinity Health | $460,000
Every Day Counts: Improving Outcomes at the End of Life by Helping Older Patients and Oncologists Talk About What Matters Most
This project addresses the gap between seriously ill cancer patients’ goals and priorities and the care they receive, particularly near the end of life. By developing a person-specific plan from the very beginning of an individual’s care, the approach will better support both patients and families.

Wayne State University | $413,903
SAFE: Successful Aging Through Empowerment – Caregiver Empowerment
This project will reduce caregiver stress related to financial management. To help caregivers, who often inherit fiscal duties with no preparation or skills, WSU will provide online and in-person training as well as one-on-one counseling sessions.

2018 Special Projects & Emerging Ideas Grants

Altarum Institute | $358,000
Breaking Down Barriers to Sharing Behavioral Health Information
This grant supports the development of statewide educational tools and provides direct assistance to providers to address consent and confidentiality regulations in order to electronically share behavioral health information among care teams.

Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan ǀ $468,909
Connected2Care
The Connected2Care Initiative (C2C) will reduce the impact of fragmented care on older adults who have complex care needs by creating electronic connectivity between physical health providers and community-based organizations.

Michigan Department of Education ǀ $499,998
Creating Change: Building the Capacity of Michigan Schools to Impact the Health, Wellbeing and Educational Outcomes of LGBTQ Students
This project will help Michigan school districts improve the culture and climate at the classroom, building, and district levels. Creating safe, supportive, and inclusive learning environments will in turn improve LGBTQ students’ health, wellbeing and educational outcomes.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services | $500,000
Statewide Perinatal Prevention and Response: Regional Perinatal Quality Collaboratives
This initiative will expand the High Touch-High Tech (HT2) program to two additional regions of Michigan. HT2 helps identify substance use during pregnancy and links pregnant women to appropriate services.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services | $200,000
Statewide Long-term Care Study
MDHHS and their aging network partners will provide a needs assessment of long-term care Michigan and an actuarial analysis of potential solutions to better serve our rapidly aging population. The study will also assess the workforce, including both family and direct care workers, to create a plan addressing the caregiver shortage.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services | $500,000
Increasing Opioid Treatment Access with Physician Incentives
This project will increase the number of Michigan providers offering medication assisted treatment and substance use disorder counseling/therapy services by providing medical education debt repayment to select providers in the 21 highest-need counties in Michigan.

Michigan Health and Hospital Association Foundation | $469,000
“I Vaccinate” Provider Education Tools
This project will develop strategies and tactics for healthcare providers to better converse with and educate parents about vaccinations. The tool will be developed with input from providers, and funding supports training them to use it.

Michigan Nonprofit Association | $100,000
Census 2020
This grant supports a collaborative statewide effort to mobilize nonprofit organizations and encourage census participation in communities with significant risk of being undercounted.

Michigan Public Health Institute | $499,412
Creating Transformative System Change to Reduce Infant and Maternal Mortality
The Michigan Public Health Institute will convene state and local stakeholders to collaboratively address the root causes of racial inequities in maternal and infant mortality.

Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems | $313,616
Building Michigan’s Healthy Food Access through Local Food Councils
Through more effective collaboration and programming, this project will increase the capacity of statewide food and health networks and local food councils to improve healthy food access, food security, and other health outcomes.

Michigan State University Institute for Public Policy and Social Research | $434,891
Michigan Health Policymaking
MSU will create a health policy track in the existing Legislative Leadership Program for members of the Legislature’s relevant policy and appropriations committees. The health policy track will improve Michigan lawmakers’ understanding of health challenges and policy.

Reliance Community Care | $440,000
Replication and Enhancement of Medically Complex Case Management Model
This initiative will replicate an integrated service model for medically complex older adults. The model includes physical, mental and social services.

The Regents of the University of Michigan | $498,596
Enhancing Treatment Access for Abandoned Chronic Pain Patients
This project aims to increase access to treatment for individuals with chronic pain by assessing barriers to care and developing toolkits that can be used by stakeholders including clinicians, insurers, policymakers and patients.

School Community Health Alliance of Michigan | $425,000
Long-term Financing Strategies for School Health Teams
This project will support the implementation of long-term financing strategies and the development of the school health team model for schools, with an emphasis on school behavioral health provider expansion.

Wayne State University | $500,000
Michigan Older Caregivers of Emerging Adults with Autism and other Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (Mi-Ocean) Family Support Project
The MI-OCEAN Family Support Project is a statewide initiative focused on improving the health and well-being of aging family caregivers of adults with autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disabilities (ASD/NDD). The project will build upon Michigan Developmental Disabilities’ Institute past initiative, Detroit 360: Family Support Project, which empowers low-income, minority parents of children with ASD/NDD in Wayne County to navigate service systems.

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