Shot of a young woman using a machine to conduct a medical test in a laboratory

BCBSM Foundation Partnership Funds U.P. Research Grants

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is committed to improving the health of all Michigan residents. From major cities to small towns, everyone should have access to affordable, quality care. Yet, studies show individuals living in rural areas have a higher risk of premature death due to preventable disease.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation is partnering with the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, Portage Health Foundation, Superior Health Foundation and the West End Health Foundation to reduce this disparity. Together, alongside the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department, an initiative was created to address physical and behavioral problems identified in the 2018 WUPHD assessment.

The goal is to connect researchers with local nonprofits to increase healthy behaviors and better outcomes. Eligible parties include medical and doctoral-level students attending four regional institutions: Lake Superior State University, Michigan Technological University, Northern Michigan University and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Upper Peninsula Region. They will conduct research and make assessments on how to improve accessibility, as well as prevent and treat chronic conditions.

This is a unique opportunity that allows participants to design and pilot solutions in their own community. It will build new relationships and strengthen existing ones within the health space. Pooling their skills and resources will have a positive effect on the most vulnerable populations. By developing manuscripts, researchers can contribute to health care developments throughout lower Michigan and potentially, the U.S.

The funding organizations will award at least five grants of up to $100,000 each. The amount will be distributed by the university grantee according to the project’s individual needs. Relevant costs may include salary support, statistical consultation, supplies and computer equipment, as well as supplemental hardware and software. Capital expenses and indirect charges will not be covered.

Full research proposals are due Feb. 20, 2020, and final decisions will be announced by mid-March. For more information on the application process, send an email to [email protected] with “UP Research” in the subject line.

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Photo credit: LaylaBird

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