Doctor examining a small child. Both are wearing masks.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation Awards More than $800,000 to Michigan-Based Organizations  

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation recently awarded a total of $842,490 to support research and community programs that identify and address critical issues affecting the health of Michigan residents.  

The grants offered by the Blue Cross Foundation allow for a range of applicants and ideas:  

  • Community Health Matching Program: Eleven community-based nonprofit organizations in Michigan will use these grants to develop, test or validate new techniques and programs to address the needs of its community members and produce a tangible effect in their lives. 
  • Investigator Initiated Programs: Four Michigan researchers will use these grants to turn theory into data, and data into knowledge. These grantees often go on to be published in scholarly journals, academic circles and community platforms that inform and shape future thought and improvement. 
  • Physician Investigator Research Award Program: Four Michigan physicians will use these grants to support their studies to address unmet health needs and unsatisfactory medical practices to improve the delivery and quality of patient care. 
  • Student Award Program: Eighteen Michigan students will receive these grants in recognition of their work to create effective and efficient solutions to the many health issues that people contend with every day. 
  • Request for Proposal: To encourage the development of projects aimed at suicide prevention, the Foundation is joining forces with other organizations to make $575,000 available to health care clinicians and behavioral health specialists to develop projects that will decrease the rate of suicide attempts and deaths by identifying children and/or adults who may be at risk; as well as addressing their needs for appropriate medical, social and behavioral services.    

The Blue Cross Foundation gives nearly $2 million each year in grants to research quality, cost and access to health care. The funding spans the state, from the metro-Detroit area to the communities of the Upper Peninsula. 

An overview of the recipients of the BCBSM Foundation grants by region is below: 

Southeast Michigan Grantees  

Grantee Name  Purpose of grant  Amount  County 
Offering Alternative Therapies with Smiles, Inc.  To hire grant writer to write and submit grant applications to fund and expand O.A.T.S. programming.  $3,500  Oakland  

Beaumont Hospital 

Dr. Daniel Arndt 

To evaluate pediatric patients with epilepsy to determine if epilepsy can be cured by surgery or a less invasive method of laser ablation.  $10,000  Oakland  
Michigan Parkinson Foundation  To develop and produce a free of charge online training that provides an overview of Parkinson’s disease and care management strategies.  $34,000  Oakland 
Oakland University  To support a medical student in a research program.  $3,000  Oakland 

University of Michigan 

Dr. Mousumi Banerjee 

To develop a machine learning tool integrating multiple data sources to predict risk of extubation failure for pediatric cardiac patients.   $50,000  Washtenaw 
University of Michigan  To support five doctoral and medical students in their dissertation research.  $15,000 



Eastern Michigan University  To support a doctoral student in a dissertation program.  $3,000  Washtenaw 

Henry Ford Hospital 

Dr. Joseph Miller 

Egbe-Etu Emmanuel Etu, Ph.D. candidate 

To evaluate the performance of hospital emergency departments during a medical surge scenario.   $10,000  Wayne  
Leaders Advancing and Helping Communities  To expand the ability to apply for substance abuse prevention grants to serve youth in Southeast Michigan.  $3,500  Wayne  
St. Patrick’s Senior Center, Inc.  To develop and submit a grant proposal for Emergency Response Funding for seniors.   $3,500  Wayne 

Henry Ford Health System 

Dr. Denise White Perkins 

To reduce Hemoglobin A1c levels through social determinants of health referrals.   $50,000  Wayne 

Wayne State University 

Dr. Abdulghani Sankari 

To assess the long-term cardiovascular outcome of heart rate changes during sleep.   $50,000  Wayne 
Life Directions  To reduce the harm of Adverse Childhood Experiences.  $34,000  Wayne 
Wayne State University  To support five doctoral and medical students in their dissertation research.  $15,000  Wayne 

Mid-Michigan Grantees 

Michigan Health Information Network Shared  To validate the effectiveness of leveraging Michigan’s existing statewide health information exchange (HIE) infrastructure to improve speed and accuracy of Michigan’s current medicolegal death investigation (MDI) process.  $43,000  Ingham 
Michigan State Medical Society Foundation  To provide physicians, medical students, health care providers and all other persons interested in biomedical ethics issues with educational opportunities on relevant biomedical issues.  $36,000  Ingham 
Michigan State University  To support a doctoral student in a research program.   $3,000  Ingham 

Central Michigan University 

Dr. Zaira Khalid 

To compare Cognivue, an assessment tool for cognitive changes, and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment results in primary care settings.  $9,990  Isabella 
Central Michigan University  To support three doctoral and medical students in their dissertation research.  $9,000  Isabella 

West Michigan Grantees 

Western Michigan University 

Dr. Robin Criter 

To determine the extent to which hearing difficulty contributes to performance on balance measures known to be predictive of fall risk.  $50,000  Kalamazoo 

Western Michigan University 

Dr. Silvia Linares 

To improve maternal and child health outcomes among high risk women in Kalamazoo Co., by providing doula support during delivery and post-partum as part of an integrated care team.  $34,000  Kalamazoo 
Western Michigan University  To support a doctoral student in a dissertation program.  $3,000  Kalamazoo 

Spectrum Health Foundation 

Dr. Cara Poland 

To address Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome through the dissemination of the GREAT MOMs toolkit to obstetric providers to treat pregnant women with opioid use disorders using medication to treat an opioid use disorder.   $34,000  Kent  
Our Kitchen Table  To pilot a multi-pronged approach to reduce health disparities by addressing food insecurity, food justice, nutrition and oral health.   $34,000  Kent 
Baldwin Family Health Care  To support access to telehealth care and offer virtual care to individuals in the network of clinics that serve residents that geographically span five counties and 2,542 square miles.   $50,000  Lake 

Bay Area Grantees  

McLaren-Flint Hospital 

Michigan State University 

Dr. Julie Thai 

To utilize motivational interviewing to help individuals better understand why they smoke and how to effectively stop smoking to reduce the risk for health conditions associated with smoking.  $10,000  Genesee 

Northern Michigan & Upper Peninsula Grantees 

Portage Health Foundation  To train students, faculty and staff in Capturing Kids Hearts, the Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon school districts will improve the school environment, develop improved social skills and performance.  $50,000  Houghton 
Michigan Technological University  To support a doctoral student in a dissertation program.  $3,000  Houghton 

Northern Michigan University 

Dr. Matthew Jennings 

To meet the health care needs of the underserved communities of the U.P. by educating high school health sciences and/or science teachers with a 100% online program in the field of Clinical Molecular Genetics – Education Track at Northern Michigan University.  $34,000  Marquette 
In partnership with Michigan Health Endowment Fund  To increase access to education and resources to address the unmet needs of informal caregivers in all 15 counties of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  $30,000  Marquette 
West End Health Foundation  To train students, faculty and staff in Capturing Kids Hearts, the Negaunee School District will improve the school environment, develop improved social skills and enhance student academic performance.  $25,000  Marquette 

Statewide Grantees 

Statewide Grantees  To support Preventing Suicide in Michigan’s Health-Disparate Populations program.  $100,000  Statewide  


Photo credit: FamVeld

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