Michigan Health Endowment Fund Announces New Communications Officer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kim Brown, Truscott Rossman

313-482-9915; kbrown@truscottrossman.com

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Health Endowment Fund today announced the hire of Hayley Roberts as communications officer. Roberts brings 10 years of experience in public relations, marketing, and policy advocacy to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, which works to improve the health of Michigan children and senior residents and reduce the cost of health care.

In her new role, Roberts will be responsible for growing the Michigan Health Endowment Fund’s public presence and helping advance the Fund’s priority initiatives. As communications officer, she will be responsible for designing and implementing the Fund’s strategic communications as well as developing storytelling partnerships with grantee organizations.

“Hayley is an ideal addition to our team,” said Paul Hillegonds, CEO of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. “Her diverse knowledge and background in nonprofit communications and her experience across traditional and digital media will ensure we are communicating effectively with our partners as well as the public.”

Roberts most recently served as the deputy director of Metro Matters, formerly the Michigan Suburbs Alliance, where she provided organizational leadership and helped set strategic direction. In her role, she oversaw branding and communications, managed programs, and supported development efforts across issues including transportation, municipal finance reform, civic engagement, and sustainability. Roberts also directed communications on behalf of the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office, a spin-off organization of Metro Matters.

Prior to Metro Matters, Roberts worked in web usability and accessibility as well as agency public relations. She has a Masters in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Writing from Michigan State University.

For additional information on the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, please visit healthendowmentfund.org.

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Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards awarded more than $4M to launch Senior Reach® program

Grant provided by Michigan Health Endowment Fund to help
improve health and wellness of seniors

 

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards (MACMHB) has recently been awarded a grant of $4.2 million from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to support initiatives aimed at improving the quality of health for seniors across the state.

The MACMHB grant dollars will help fund a pilot program, Senior Reach®, over the next two years to connect seniors who are isolated or in need of social support and to address behavioral health needs before a crisis occurs. Senior Reach® is a community program that works with multiple community partners to identify older adults who may need emotional or physical support and/or connection to other community services. The program is a service-based intervention targeting older adults experiencing problematic mental and emotional states; personality and physical changes; poor health; social isolation; substance abuse; physical abuse or neglect; and risk factors for suicide.

“The Senior Reach® program, a nationally recognized evidence based practice, will provide the twelve communities involved in this effort with the tools to reach and inform seniors about a range of health and human services resources available to them. This kind of outreach and education is essential in promoting the health and vitality of the seniors in our state,” said Robert Sheehan, chief executive officer of the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards.

Non-traditional community partners such as Meals on Wheels and senior centers as well as  and traditional partners including primary care physicians and adult protective service programs serve as referral sources to the new Senior Reach® program. To refer a senior, the community partner contacts a call center, who then contacts the individual to engage them and provide information about the program. After an in-home assessment, the senior is referred to the best combination of Senior Reach® services tailored to his or her needs, which could include mental health care, care management, and/or a combination of services. Treatment planning is coordinated in partnership with the senior, is individualized, strengths-based, and recovery oriented.

“We’re proud to support the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards and the positive impact they’re making on Michigan’s seniors,” said Rob Fowler, chair of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund Board. “Part of our mission at the Health Endowment Fund is to improve the health of seniors statewide, and by funding the Senior Reach® program, we’re able to help with that.”

The aim of the Michigan Senior Reach project, which will be implemented in twelve Michigan communities, is develop a Michigan based program implementation model, specific to the characteristics of Michigan’s behavioral health and older adult support services systems, that can be used to sustain and create additional Senior Reach® programs statewide. To accomplish this aim, the project will:

  • Identify targeted at-risk older adults
  • Develop and/or strengthen community partner referrals, outreach, and treatment
  • Make a positive impact on the lives of older adults referred (as measured by a standardized outcome measurement tool)
  • Increase referrals, community support, agency awareness, and sustainability.
  • Develop the administrative, fiscal, and clinical infrastructure to support Senior Reach beyond the Health Endowment Fund support period

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 in 2014 with an additional $8.5 million awarded in December to 29 Michigan community health foundations.

Additional information can be found at the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards website at macmhb.org.

Michigan Health Endowment Fund Announces New Senior Program Officer

 

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Health Endowment Fund today announced the hire of Becky Cienki as Senior Program Officer. Cienki has nearly 20 years of experience in public health, both at a local and state level. The Michigan Health Endowment Fund works to improve the health of Michigan children and senior residents and reduce the cost of health care.

In her new role, Cienki will be responsible for working on the Michigan Health Endowment Fund’s grant making initiatives with a primary focus on mental health initiatives. As Senior Program Officer, she will be responsible for designing and implementing the Funds strategic grant programs, overseeing grant activities and developing statewide partnerships with organizations aligned with the Fund’s mission.

“Becky is the perfect addition to our team,” said Paul Hillegonds, executive director of Michigan Health Endowment Fund. “Her diverse knowledge and background related to health policy, improving integration of mental health and primary care services, program management and health improvement for Michigan’s most vulnerable communities will benefit Health Endowment Fund grantees.”

Cienki most recently served as the chief operating officer of the Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) where she provided organizational leadership and set strategic direction for the association, representing Michigan’s 40 community health center organizations. In her role, she was responsible for developing and maintaining strategic partnerships with key administrators, trade associations, and community partners to advocate MPCA’s position and strategic objectives. Cienki also was responsible for overseeing the programmatic activities of the association and directing the development and administration of grants and contracts. Prior to MPCA, she served as a health educator with the Mid-Michigan District Health Department and as a Drug Elimination Program Coordinator for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

Cienki is currently involved with several organizations and boards, serving on the Michigan Behavioral Health Advisory Council; serving as advisory board member and faculty to the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work’s Integrated Behavioral Health Certificate Program; and is active with the Children’s Special Health Care Advisory. Additionally, Cienki served as a board member and chair of the Michigan Oral Health Coalition. She has a Masters in Public Health, Health Management and Policy from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Exercise and Health Services from Alma College.

For additional information on the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, please visit healthendowmentfund.org.

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About the Michigan Health Endowment Fund:

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund was established 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 through the passage of Public Act 4 of 2013, which authorized certain changes to how Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) operates.

Food Bank Council of Michigan nutrition program improves access to healthy food statewide

DETROIT, Mich. – The Food Bank Council of Michigan is celebrating a successful first year of its Michigan Food Bank Access to Nutrition (MIFBAN) program, a significant first step in its efforts to make Michigan a food-secure state by increasing access to food in all 83 counties.

The Food Bank Council of Michigan received a $5 million grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund in 2014 to support the initiative for two years, through October 2016. That crucial funding helped to establish the MIFBAN program’s goal to improve access, and encourage low-income residents in Michigan to eat healthier. The program is focused on seniors and children. MIFBAN collaborates with local food banks to coordinate the purchase of fresh produce that is then distributed to 129 mobile sites (surpassing the original goal of 66), including direct service to schools, senior centers and other areas that suffer from high rates of food insecurity, being without reliable access to a sufficient amount of food.

“We are very proud of the number of people we have been able to reach in the first year of the MIFBAN program,” said Phillip Knight, executive director of Food Bank Council of Michigan. “Improving the quality of health in Michigan begins with the food we eat. MIFBAN’s mobile sites successfully span across 655 zip codes in Michigan and distribute locally grown produce.”

Since the implementation of the program, MIFBAN has also provided nutrition education to more than 10,600 people monthly. In addition, more than 3,400 seniors and more than 4,400 youth have received nutrition education each month. Another aspect of the program is providing cooking demonstrations, taste tests and recipe cards to help people make the connection between nutrition, the preparation of nutritious meals and the benefits of practicing healthy eating habits.

“We are proud to support The Food Bank Council of Michigan and the positive impact they are having on the health of Michigan’s seniors and children,” said Paul Hillegonds, executive director of Michigan Health Endowment Fund. “The MIFBAN is increasing access to healthier food and reducing the risk of chronic disease for thousands of Michigan’s most vulnerable citizens.”

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 in 2014 with an additional $8.5 million awarded in December to 29 Michigan community health foundations.

Additional information can be found at the Food Bank Council of Michigan website at fbcmich.org.

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About the Food Bank Council of Michigan

The Food Bank Council of Michigan’s mission is to create a food secure state through advocacy, resource management, and collaboration among stakeholders and Michigan’s unified food bank network. FBCM works with its seven regional food banks and more than 3,000 hunger relief agencies, private companies, farmers, state and federal officials and other allies to make sure Michigan residents don’t go hungry. For more information, visit fbcmich.org or call 517-485-1202.

Michigan Health Endowment Fund Awards More Than $8.5 Million to Support the Health and Wellness of Seniors and Children

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.

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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
  • Pleasant Area Community Foundation
  • Community Foundation of Muskegon County
  • Community Foundation of Northeast Michigan
  • Roscommon County Community Foundation
  • Saginaw Community Foundation
  • Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
  • Community Foundation of the Upper Peninsula