Two men in doctor office

Michigan Organizations Receive More Than $1,500,000 in Grants to Improve Health Care in Michigan

DETROIT, June 14, 2018The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation is awarding a total of $1,534,609 to support research and community programs that identify and address critical issues affecting the health of Michigan residents. These awards include funding of $100,000 from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and $128,356 from the Superior Health Foundation in Marquette, specifically directed at the Investing in Upper Peninsula Health initiative.

“These grants are focused on empowering organizations, researchers and health experts across the state to address the health care needs of their respective communities,” said Audrey Harvey, vice president and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation.

The grants offered by the Blue Cross Foundation are categorized to allow for a variety of applicants and ideas, including:

  • Request for Proposal – Investing in Upper Peninsula Health initiative: Fourteen community organizations throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula received a total of $814,652 in funding courtesy of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation and the Superior Health Foundation. The partnership provides one-time grants that will be used to improve health and access to cost-effective, quality care for residents in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
  • Community Health Matching Programs: 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.
  • Physician Investigator Research Award Programs: Michigan physicians will use these grants to conduct pilot projects and/or small research studies to address unmet health needs to improve the delivery and quality of patient care.
  • Investigator Initiated Research Award Programs: This program provides researchers employed by universities and hospitals up to $75,000 in grants. The expectation is that that the funding will support getting the researcher’s work published to share among other Michigan researchers and medical professionals to improve the cost and quality of care for Michigan residents.

The BCBSM Foundation gives nearly $2 million each year in grants to improve the cost, quality and access to health care. The funding encompasses the state, from Metro Detroit to the communities of the Upper Peninsula. None of the money comes from the premium payments of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members. The BCBSM Foundation was created in 1980 with $800,000 in seed money, which has since grown to approximately $60 million in assets with no further contributions.

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

Investing in Upper Peninsula Health initiative                                                                     Total funding: $814,652

Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD)                                                             All UP Counties

Support leadership for all six health departments to assess, evaluate, plan and implement health improvement plans for the Upper Peninsula


Upper Great Lakes Family Health (UGL)                                                                           Marquette County

Expand services at the Gwinn Center used to examine patients experiencing pain/discomfort, diagnose illness and determine how well a prescribed treatment is working


Helen Newberry Joy Hospital                                                           Luce, Mackinac, Alger, Schoolcraft Counties

Integrate behavioral health into a primary care clinic to provide a continuum of preventative and restorative mental health services to the community


Baraga-Houghton-Keweenaw Child Development Board Inc.          Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw Counties

Enhance evidence-based, trauma informed “Watch Me Shine” program used to help build supportive, responsive relationships between children and caring adults


Northern Lights YMCA                                                                               Delta, Dickinson, Menominee Counties

Enhance the “Active for Life” initiative which addresses chronic disease, treatment and prevention while increasing activity and obesity prevention


Bay Cliff Health Camp                                                                                                                          All UP Counties

Enhance the comprehensive “Life After Stroke” wellness program for stroke survivors, spouses and caregivers


Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital (SMH)                                            Schoolcraft County (and surrounding areas)

Expand access to services and treatment for mental health, addiction and trauma


UP Health Care Solutions                                                  Baraga, Houghton, Ontonagon, Keweenaw Counties

Reduce the incidence of visual impairment from diabetic retinopathy


Munising Memorial Hospital                                                                                                                   Alger County

Implement school-based healthcare clinics within a minimum of two local schools


Dial Help                                                                               Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, Ontonagon Counties

Expand access to care with mobile response team (MRT) to 24/7 capacity


Abundant Life Mission (ALM)                                                                                                     Menominee County

Use evidence-based nutrition and dietary plans to help prevent and treat critical health problems found in homeless individuals residing in the mission


Great Lakes Recovery Center (GLRC)                                                                                                All UP Counties

Support four residential treatment facilities with strategic recreation program designed to engage youth and provide services for mental health and substance abuse, including opioid addiction


Hannahville Indian Community                                                                                                 Menominee County

Increase preventive care services and basic restorative care while expanding dental health education to targeted groups within the tribal community



UP Diabetes Outreach Network                                                                                                         All UP Counties

Preventing Type 2 diabetes across 15 rural counties to increase awareness and testing for prediabetes, as well as expanding access to diabetes prevention programs

Community Health Matching Program                                                                                  Total funding: $310,000

Barry-Eaton District Health Department                                  Hastings, Charlotte (Barry and Eaton Counties)

Developing an enhanced focus on chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, pneumonia/influenza and suicide


Children’s Healing Center                                                                                             Grand Rapids (Kent County)

Expanding and evaluating programming to help reduce additional costs of behavioral health problems and increase families’ physical, mental and social well-being


Harbor Beach Community Hospital                                                                         Harbor Beach (Huron County)

Improving patient outcomes for those with behavioral health conditions by implementing and evaluating a telepsychiatry program to provide access to behavioral health services


Kadima Mental Health Services                                                                                  Southfield (Oakland County)

Sustaining, expanding and strengthening a program to improve the physical and mental health of Kadima clients


Macomb Children’s Healthcare Access Program                                                         Warren (Macomb County)

Expanding services for Medicaid children to Oakland County


Michigan State Medical Society Foundation                                                                  Lansing (Ingham County)

Providing physicians, medical students, health care providers and others interested in biomedical ethics issues with educational opportunities on relevant biomedical issues


Regents of the University of Michigan                                                                Ann Arbor (Washtenaw County)

Training veteran volunteers to provide outreach support and linkage to crucial resources for Michigan’s veterans in need


Spectrum Health Foundation                                                                                       Grand Rapids (Kent County)

Providing a comprehensive program that addresses the unique needs of women and families facing substance abuse disorder during pregnancy, childbirth and beyond

Physician Investigator Program                                                                                                 Total funding: $49,957

Children’s Hospital of Michigan (Wayne State University)                                            Detroit (Wayne County)                                                                                   

Prospectively describe the epidemiology of Brief Resolved Unexplained Events (BRUE) and characterize current clinical evaluation, impact of hospitalization and short-term outcomes for patients with a lower risk


Michigan State University                                                                                                  Lansing (Ingham County)

Exploring why women who received an abnormal Pap test during a prenatal exam did not return for post-partum follow-up treatment


University of Michigan                                                                                           Ann Arbor (Washtenaw County)

Survey and analyze critical care practitioners in Michigan and nationally regarding their vascular access practices in intensive care units


University of Michigan                                                                                           Ann Arbor (Washtenaw County)

Determining whether visually-impaired older adults are already more likely to fall at the time they are diagnosed with an age-related eye disease



William Beaumont Hospital Research Institute                                                               Detroit (Wayne County)

Determining if there is a difference between incidence rates of pediatric anaphylaxis between inner city and suburban pediatric emergency departments in Metro Detroit


Investigator-Initiated Program                                                                                                Total funding: $360,000

Michigan State University                                                                                                  Lansing (Ingham County)

A pilot investigation of an early childhood transition program for children with autism spectrum disorders



University of Michigan                                                                                           Ann Arbor (Washtenaw County)

Determining clinical decision tools to aid appropriate and timely transfer of severely ill children from level II to level I pediatric intensive care units


University of Michigan                                                                                           Ann Arbor (Washtenaw County)

Preventing iatrogenic opioid dependence after cancer surgery


University of Michigan                                                                                           Ann Arbor (Washtenaw County)

Determining the effect of irritating beverages on overactive bladder symptoms


University of Michigan                                                                                           Ann Arbor (Washtenaw County)

Expanding postpartum contraceptive treatment options: estimating payer & hospital costs


University of Michigan                                                                                           Ann Arbor (Washtenaw County)

Identifying unmet treatment needs for perinatal depression in Michigan Medicaid


Wayne State University                                                                                                        Detroit (Wayne County)

To examine high-risk opioid prescribing as defined by opioid dosage, duration or concurrent use with other medications and the impact of current national, state and payer policies to address the opioid overdose epidemic in Southeastern Michigan


Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.6 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, and