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LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Health Endowment Fund will be accepting applications for up to $10 million in grants to improve the quality of health for Michigan’s children and seniors.
Up to $8 million of the new grant dollars – approved by the Fund’s board of directors on July 23, 2015 – will be available for application by Michigan community foundations that meet national standards criteria. An additional $2 million will be available to other community organizations throughout the state.
“The Michigan Health Endowment Fund board has been proud to support a variety of very successful programs this past year aimed at improving the health of Michigan’s children and senior residents,” said Rob Fowler, board chairman. “We look forward to building strong relationships with Michigan’s community foundations and other non-profit organizations that are working to improve the health of Michigan’s most vulnerable residents.”
Community foundations can apply for grants to improve the health of minor children and seniors in their regions. Those foundations, in turn, could offer their affiliate foundations or smaller community organizations the opportunity to seek grants that support programs with the same goal. Applications are due in October.
Community-based, non-profit organizations may apply directly to the Fund for grants to support programs related to children and seniors. Organizations making a direct application must be a 501(c)3 public charity, have an annual operating budget of less than $1.5 million and a current, certified financial audit. Local units of government are also encouraged to apply.
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 year one, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund awarded 10 large grants to statewide organizations to support projects related to fitness programs for youth, fall reduction for seniors, access to healthy food, mental health screenings and health education,” said Paul Hillegonds, Michigan Health Endowment Fund chief executive officer. “We are excited to collaborate this year with smaller organizations that seek to enhance the well-being of Michigan’s children and seniors in their local communities.”
All grant monies will be awarded based on criteria established by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund board. Applicants are encouraged to show a direct relationship to one or more of eight key focus areas: infant mortality; health services for foster and adopted children; wellness and fitness programs; access to healthy food; mental health services; technology enhancements; health-related transportation needs; and foodborne illness prevention. Projects can be for pilot projects or ongoing programs, but the grants are not intended to replace lost government funding.
Additional information regarding grant eligibility can be found at the Michigan Health Endowment Fund website at mhealthfund.com or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About 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 in the state.
LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) President and CEO Daniel J. Loepp, and the Michigan Health Endowment Fund Board today announced the first payment of $100 million into the new Michigan Health Endowment Fund.
“This marks yet another important step in our efforts to improve the health of Michigan senior citizens and youths, which has been my priority throughout this process,” said Snyder. “The significance of this first contribution to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund cannot be overstated. I am confident that with this first payment of $100 million we will see a positive impact on the lives of Michigan residents for years to come. Moving forward, the board members are focused on the health and wellness of Michigan families as they begin their process to identify initiatives for funding.”
The Michigan Health Endowment Fund Board was created though passage of Public Act 4 of 2013, which authorized certain changes to how BCBSM operates in the state. The law requires BCBSM to contribute up to $1.56 billion over 18 years to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.
“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is pleased and proud to make this initial contribution to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund,” said BCBSM President and CEO Daniel J. Loepp. “It is an expression of our ongoing commitment to make our state healthier and stronger while helping those Michigan residents most in need of quality health care. This contribution is an affirmation of the fact that despite change all around us, our commitment to Michigan remains our guiding force. It has been that way for 75 years and will remain so in our future as a nonprofit mutual organization.”
The payments BCBSM makes to the fund have an annual cap of $50 million, but also allow for the fund to benefit when BCBSM has a strong financial year. After a strong year in 2013, BCBSM was able to contribute $100 million to the fund for its first payment. This means that Michigan Health Endowment Fund now has additional funds to secure its social mission through the development of programs to improve public health, and the quality, cost and access of health care for Michigan residents.
The fund’s purpose is to benefit the health and wellness of Michigan residents with significant focus on programs for minor children and seniors through the state. Priority areas include infant mortality, wellness and fitness programs, access to healthy food, technology enhancements, health-related transportation needs and foodborne illness prevention. In addition, the fund is
required to implement a program to subsidize the cost of individual Medicare supplemental, or “Medigap” coverage to help senior citizens who demonstrate financial need.
Members of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund Board are Lynn Alexander, Tim Damschroder, Cindy Estrada, Rob Fowler, Sue Jandernoa, Jim Murray, Keith Pretty, Marge Robinson and Michael Williams.
“The board members are fully engaged and committed to making a difference in the lives of Michigan’s seniors and children,” said Michigan Health Endowment Fund Board Chair Rob Fowler. “We applaud Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for this first payment.”
The Michigan Health Endowment Fund Board’s next meeting will be Monday, April 28 at 9 a.m. at the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development, 3535 Forest Road, Lansing. The board continues to organize operations and will develop a granting strategy for projects in the future. For more information visit www.mhealthfund.com.