Last month, we completed our 2015 Annual Report. Read Board Chair Rob Fowler’s introductory letter below, and click here to view or download the full report [PDF].
Letter from the Chair
For most startups, “growth” refers to securing investment, increasing sales, and guring out the right business model. For a new foundation, however, growth means something different. The funding is already assured, and the job of the organization is to steward that funding wisely. The course we’re charting is not toward pro tability but toward achieving our mission. In 2015, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund took on that challenge, putting in place the organizational structure to ensure we’ll ful ll our responsibility to the residents of Michigan.
We delved into the strategic planning process, drawing on what we learned from our 2014 statewide listening tour. We hired our rst staff, bringing on Paul Hillegonds as the Health Fund’s inaugural chief executive of cer as well as a talented slate of professionals in nance and operations, grantmaking, and administration. And, of course, we continued our giving, awarding more than $10 million to community foundations and nonpro ts across every region of the state.
The grants to community foundations helped us establish partnerships with peer groups that have a deep understanding of and commitment to their respective regions. Those foundations have launched new initiatives, partnered with community organizations, and leveraged these dollars for the good of their communities. Our Local Impact awards supported the on-the-ground service providers, innovators, and advocates who do critical work for Michigan’s most vulnerable residents.
You might notice the overall award amount is a bit smaller than it was in 2014. That’s because in 2015 we also began preparing for the Michigan Medigap Subsidy, a ve-year, $120 million assistance program designed to help residents facing increasing Medigap policy premiums. Terry Gardner, our chief nancial and operations of cer, has expertly prepared the Health Fund for the nancial impact of the program’s obligations, ensuring we are able to continue our grantmaking without interruption. Terry is also leading implementation of the subsidy, collaborating with state agencies, insurance companies, and advocacy groups to design the subsidy in a way that will bene t thousands of Michigan residents.
Looking ahead, 2016 will be another year of growth. We’ve of cially adopted our strategic plan,
and we’re launching proactive grantmaking initiatives to move the needle on some of Michigan’s most pressing healthcare challenges. For now, read on to learn more about the grants we made in 2015. We’re also spotlighting some of the ongoing work that resulted from our 2014 awards. After all, it’s exciting to offer resources to new ideas and promising projects. But to see the ongoing impact of those resources is inspiring, and bolsters my belief that the Health Fund can truly lead to a healthier Michigan.
-Rob Fowler, Board Chair