The Superior Health Foundation, along with its 2018 partner Courage Incorporated, are actively seeking sponsors for the 2018 Annual Golf Outing, scheduled for Friday, June 15, at Red Fox Run in Gwinn. Lunch ($1,500) and Prize ($1,000) sponsorships are  available, as are Fun hole ($250) and Hole ($100) sponsorships. View sponsorship brochure here. 

SHF is excited to work with Courage Incorporated, a 501 c (3) non-profit organization in the Upper Peninsula that provides outdoor excursions to individuals and veterans with physical disabilities to help them harness their natural courage and enjoy the woods and water. At the golf event, SHF will present Courage Incorporated with a check for $5,000 to help purchase outdoor equipment and help defray travel expenses.

“Courage Incorporated is an incredible organization,” said Jim LaJoie, executive director of the Superior Health Foundation. “The board of directors has been delightful to work with in the planning of this event. We’re honored to work with them. We’re confident it’s going to be a terrific day of golf and fellowship.”


Register a Team

Superior Health Foundation introduces
Indigent Care Fund

Former Medical Care Access Coalition enters agreement with SHF to manage dollars remaining in fund

Dennis Smith, left, president of the Medical Care Access Coalition (MCAC) and Jim LaJoie, executive director of the Superior Health Foundation, officially sign the agreement to transfer existing monies from the MCAC to the Superior Health Foundation for the creation of a Indigent Care Fund.

The Superior Health Foundation and the Medical Care Access Coalition have entered into an agreement whereas existing monies of approximately $1.2 million from the former Medical Care Access Coalition (MCAC) have been transferred to the SHF to create an Upper Peninsula-wide Indigent Care Fund.

MCAC Board President Dennis Smith said the board was tasked with the job of closing down the Medical Care Access Coalition that began in Marquette. In so doing, MCAC looked for an organization that could manage the assets in a prudent, growth-driven manner with the idea of establishing a fund in which non-profit, health-centered organizations across the Upper Peninsula could apply for funding to address indigent issues within their organizations.

“We did not have the accounting system to manage this kind of money on a long-term basis,” Smith explained. “We decided to approach the Superior Health Foundation to (1) see if this is something they would entertain, and (2) if so, go back to our board and set up parameters to see how we go about doing this. There have been many people who have put a lot of work and time into this. We didn’t want this to go away. Rather, we wanted it to be used in perpetuity going forward.”

Before the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of Medicaid, avenues for uninsured patients to get quality care were scarce.  The state provided money for the MCAC to help people.

The Superior Health Foundation, formed in September 2012 following the sale of then non-profit Marquette General to for-profit Duke LifePoint, has awarded nearly $1.7 million in grant funding in its short history.

SHF Executive Director Jim LaJoie said the Foundation Board of Directors and Grants Committee has, over the years, discussed an Indigent Care fund to help non-profits in the region. This, he said, is a perfect fit.

“Foremost, we are honored to be the recipient of these dollars from the MCAC,” LaJoie said. “Directors from the two boards have met a couple of times to iron out the parameters of the fund, which will be set up as an endowed fund in which investment  earnings from the fund will be awarded annually to selected organizations.

“It’s terrific in so many ways. We believe this fund will help improve the health and well-being of many people in the Upper Peninsula, which speaks to our mission of assisting with unmet healthcare needs.”

Dr. Michael Coyne, president of the SHF Board of Directors, echoed those thoughts.

“We’ve talked about establishing an Indigent Care Fund and the need, in the Upper Peninsula, for such a fund,” Dr. Coyne said. “With these dollars, graciously awarded to us by MCAC, we’ll be able to provide much-needed funding to those organizations that truly need it. It’s great.”  

The purpose of the newly created Indigent Care Fund through the Superior Heath Foundation is to meet the otherwise unmet medical needs of indigent residents of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Individual grants will not be made from the fund.

Rather, grants will be limited to tax-exempt and government organizations that provide or arrange for medical or health care services to residents of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula whose adjusted gross income is less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

The Superior Health Foundation Board of Directors will discuss the fund at its May meeting and will determine when monies will be available for granting.

March’s Superior Health Minute 

Rosa Gardiner -Breast Feeding Education Support Team of Chippewa County

Doug Russell – Room at the Inn

SHF, state funders address opioid crisis in Michigan

The Superior Health Foundation is very proud and humbled to take an active role in helping fund a state initiative to reduce the incidence of opioid addictions in Michigan.

At a press conferenc

e on Friday, February 16, in Marquette, SHF joined with BCBS and Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation officials in making a $52,500 grant to NorthCare Network to implement the Tri-Ethnic Readiness Survey in participating counties, collaborate with law enforcement, treatment providers and other stakeholder to educate doctors, pharmacists and other professionals on prescribing guidelines, and develop and distribute tiered messaging through billboards, flyers and other media.

In all, nine Michigan organizations received more than $570,000 in grants to address a growing opioid crisis through the Taking Action on Opioid and Prescription Drug Abuse in Michigan by Supporting Community Responses initiative. Superior Health Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, The Michigan Health Endowment Fund and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan provided funding for one-time grants to begin new projects, or to enhance or expand existing projects aimed at reducing opioid and prescription drug abuse and harm.

“The opioid crisis is of grave concern to many,” said Jim LaJoie, executive director of the Superior Health Foundation. “We have seen the devastating effects of this in our rural communities. Families are being destroyed…people are dying. We’re honored to partner with a number of invested state organizations to provide meaningful grant dollars to address this epidemic.”

February’s Superior Health Minute

Kyle Rambo – Catholic Social Services

Sue Kitti – Lake Superior Life Care and Hospice 

Superior Health Foundation winter newsletter now available

SHF seeking sponsors for 2018 Annual Gala!


The Superior Health Foundation would like to extend your organization an invitation to the Seventh Annual Gala to be held on Saturday, September 15, in the Great Lakes Rooms at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. The evening brings together great friends and provides a unique opportunity to raise money for three outstanding organizations.    

In 2017, more than $73,400 in net proceeds were raised at the gala, with $10,000 apiece going to Camp New Day and HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response. The remaining dollars went into SHF grant funding. It was an incredible, record-setting night. Thank you for your support! 

This year, SHF is pleased to announce that two additional health-centered organizations will be recognized and awarded up to $10,000 to support projects that align with SHF’s mission:

  1. STAR Children’s Bereavement Services (STAR CBS): Funding will help STAR begin a three-year pilot program to provide children who attend Camp STAR supportive mental health services after they leave camp. Camp STAR is a weekend camp designed for children who have experienced the loss of loved ones. Funding will cover staff salary, counseling services and supplies.
  2. UP Coalition Network: Funding will support volunteer training in each of the U.P.’s 14 counties on the “QPR Across the U.P.” Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) training is an evidence-based suicide prevention model that can be delivered in one hour to adults and youth. Funding will help purchase QPR Gatekeeper Training materials for each county. Once trained, the QPR volunteer trainers will provide training – free of charge – to schools, businesses and others in the community. 

We’re confident the 2018 Gala, which will feature the entertainment of Improv Unlimited from Chicago (see poster), will be amazing. 

We ask you to give consideration to the below Gala sponsorship information and consider supporting us.

We’re asking for your commitment by Friday, July 27, 2018. Simply fill out the online form.

If you have questions or require additional information, please feel free to contact Executive Director Jim Lajoie e at 906-225-3431 or or Special Event Coordinator Kim LeTourneau at 225-6914 or

View Sponsorship Opportunities

Online Sponsor Form

SHF presents ‘Pink” dollars to NICE Schools

The Superior Health Foundation proudly presented a check for $1,827.40 to the NICE Community Schools for being a partner for “Painting the Peninsula Pink” in 2017. SHF and Westwood High School collaborated during October to raise money for the SHF Breast Health Fund, which provides charitable funding for men and women across the Upper Peninsula to help with out-of-pocket breast health expenses not covered by insurance.  SHF donated a percentage of the merchandise and day sponsor revenue back to WHS, which will use the funding to purchase concussion helmets for its varsity football program. Pictured, from left, are Westwood High School Principal David Boase, NICE Community Schools Superintendent Bryan DeAugustine, SHF Executive Director Jim LaJoie and Aspen Ridge Middle School Principal/Athletic Director Jon Beckman. Painting the Peninsula Pink raised $16,645.28 in net proceeds in 2017. If interested in being a Pink Partner in 2018, submit – in 200 words or less – an email to A partner will be selected in late spring or early summer.

January’s Superior Health Minute 

Janell Peters, Clubhouse  

Joe Calrson, Michigan State University Spartans for Health

SHF accepting health-centered large grant applications for spring funding cycle

The Superior Health Foundation is now accepting large grant applications for its spring 2018 funding cycle. 

SHF will award more than $75,000 in large grants during the spring cycle.

Eligibility information and on-line application forms are available on the SHF’s website at and at its office located at 121 N. Front St. in Marquette. Applications will be accepted from Dec. 15 through January 15, 2018.

The Superior Health Foundation’s Grants Committee will review the applications and will make its recommendations to the SHF Board of Directors at its March board meeting.

In October, the Superior Health Foundation awarded more than $347,500 in large grants, with more than $283,000 in funding to address substance use in the Upper Peninsula.  Since its inception in 2012, the SHF has awarded more than $1.6 million in grant funding.

“We’re delighted to provide health-centered funding to a number of incredible causes all across the Upper Peninsula,” said Jim LaJoie, executive director of the Superior Health Foundation. “We encourage health-centered organizations to submit proposals, which will be carefully reviewed and acted upon by the SHF Grants Committee.”

SHF’s mission is to assist with unmet healthcare needs, with health education, and with programs and research on preventing illness and promoting health throughout the Upper Peninsula. Its vision is to improve the health of the residents of the Upper Peninsula.

For more information, contact the SHF at 906-225-6914 or email

2018 Spring Large Grants Application

Superior Health Foundation fall newsletter now available

Superior Health Foundation seeking funding projects for 2018 annual gala

 Are you a non-profit with a health-centered mission? If so, the Superior Health Foundation invites you to submit a funding request, with the hopes you’ll be part of the SHF’s 2018 annual gala celebration.   

The Superior Health Foundation annual gala will be held on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in Marquette. Proceeds from the gala will benefit SHF for grant funding.  In addition, the SHF Gala Planning Committee will select two, health-centered projects ($10,000 or less) and award those monies at the gala.  SHF will ask the non-profit agencies receiving funding to invite employees and guests to the gala.

In 2017, SHF provided $10,000 in funding to HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response and Camp New Day.

The SHF Gala Committee will give high priority to health-centered initiatives or projects that benefit a large geographic population in the region and align with its mission, which is “to assist with unmet healthcare needs, with health education, and with programs and research on preventing illness and promoting health.”

The Superior Health Foundation will accept applications through Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, and will select two, non-profit projects by late December. These projects will then be forwarded to the SHF Board of Directors for approval in January.

Those with questions are asked to call the Superior Health Foundation at 906-225-6914 or email


SHF celebrates 5-year anniversary


Superior Health Foundation 
hosts fall grants celebration

Health-centered non-profit organization awards nearly $375,000 in grants


The Superior Health Foundation in Marquette awarded nearly $375,000 in health-centered grant funding at its Fall Grants Awards Celebration on Wednesday evening at the Holiday Inn in Marquette.  The event was presented by 44 North.

The Superior Health Foundation gave out $27,147.06 in mini-grants, $64,012.00 in large grants and $283,305.10 in funding to address substance use issues in the Upper Peninsula. All told, $374,464.16 was dispersed to organizations across the region.

The substance use initiative is the Foundation’s fourth proactive grant project selected and voted on by its U.P.-wide Board of Directors. Since 2014, SHF has awarded $1,014,255.10 to proactive projects to address oral health for children, mental health wellness, pediatric obesity and substance use.

  “There are so many needs in the Upper Peninsula. We’re incredibly blessed to be in position to help so many health-centered causes across the region,” said Jim LaJoie, executive director of the Superior Health Foundation. “This year, our board of directors and team recognized the tremendous need to address substance use issues in the Upper Peninsula. They are paramount and frightening. The SHF grants committee reviewed a number of outstanding proposals to address substance use issues. We feel strongly we have chosen five projects that will ultimately reduce the incidence of drug use and/or provide treatment options in our communities.”

At the awards celebration, the Superior Health Foundation recognized 18 organizations across the Upper Peninsula that received mini grants.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Superior Health Foundation, we’re pleased to award these grants to so many incredible organizations across the U.P.,” said Mike Coyne, MD, President of the SHF Board of Directors. “Our mission is to assist with unmet healthcare needs, with health education, and with programs and research on preventing illness and promoting health. We like to feel we’re doing our part in improving the lives of people.”

  The Superior Health Foundation awarded large grants to the following:

  • Superior Simulation Center ($2,600): The goal of the Emergency Resuscitation Program is to establish a standardized Emergency Resuscitation Skills program. The program will serve the community of Sault Ste. Marie, but will also provide the emergency resuscitation opportunities for learners in all counties of the Eastern Upper Peninsula. The funding will cover 12 AED Practi-Trainers and Monitors with built-in DVD players.
  • Great Lakes Recovery Centers ($6,312): This funding will purchase equipment to enable GLRC to implement a virtual reality-based neuroplasticity program in the residential Substance Use Disorder programs in Marquette County. The program will utilize virtual reality equipment and software with individuals suffering from substance use disorder to promote neuroplasticity or the brain’s ability to “rewire” itself and alter reward systems which are negatively impacted by substance use disorders. They will partner with NeuroTrainer to develop and implement the virtual reality programs.
  • NMU Multiple Sclerosis ($7,510): This project examines the efficiency of a SpeedMaker, which is a device designed for muscle and strength training among athletes. In addition, this project will also involve outreach by providing in-service education for therapists in the U.P. SHF provided funding to have graduate and undergraduate students support, cover mileage for the participants to travel from Gwinn to Marquette, help with audio and visual services and project supplies.
  • Girls on the Run of the Eastern U. ($8,500): Girls on the Run is dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. Their program prevents high risk behavior and substance abuse, and supports building resilience. Funding from SHF will enable this organization to expense its outreach across the region with marketing and donor recruitment activities.
  • Teaching Family Homes ($11,000): In this collaborative effort with Great Lakes Recovery Centers and other reginal stakeholders, they will create a program aimed at managing the needs of adolescents impacted by significant psychiatric issues who are in need of step-down services from the psychiatric unit of diversion to programming in lieu of placement in the psychiatric unit. SHF covered the funds of equipment, materials, staff training, and program development.
  • Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital ($13,540): This provided for the purchase a Video Glidescope, which provides for a clear view of the airway and vocal cords by use of a lighting and camera technology at SMH in Manistique. The Emergency Department is ultimately responsible for airway management of all types including the pediatric to the difficult airway placement.
  • Lake Superior Hospice ($14,550): This funding will enable LSH to upgrade furnishings in its suite to provide greater safety and comfort to participants. These upgrades include functioning wheelchairs, lift chairs that allow the most impaired clients to rise to a standing position, an AED device and first aid kits, carpet tile to replace the soiled and worn carpet, a refrigerator to house client lunches and snacks, and office equipment.

In the area of substance use, the SHF proudly used matching grants of $50,000 from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, $25,000 from the ME Davenport Foundation and $15,000 from the Western Marquette County Foundation to position itself for more than $283,000 in grant funding to:

  • Healthy Youth Coalition of Marinette and Menominee Counties ($6,250): This supports the “LOCK IT DROP IT, STOP IT” campaign through the Healthy Youth Coalition, which is focused on reducing prescription drug abuse in our community. This campaign will provide personal prescription lock boxes, free of charge to Menominee County residents. Educational brochures, magnets that will list all law enforcement agencies with a drug drop box, and individual medication dissolving bags for those cannot travel to a drop site will also be available free of charge through this campaign. SHF will fund 250 lock boxes as a pilot project.
  • MSU-CHM Upper Peninsula Region ($11,500): A collaboration with UP Health Departments and the network of Upper Great Lakes Family Health Centers, MSU-CHM UP Region will sponsor an American Society of Addiction Medicine Buprenorphine Waver Education Program with a regional conference on how providers can start a Medication Assisted Treatment Program in their own cities. The idea is to create a community of providers across the UP who ca pool their ideas and experience to address the opioid epidemic together. SHF will fund the entire project.
  • Catholic Social Services of the Upper Peninsula ($47,500): This grant will enable the Re-Entry Recovery House, a faith-based program with a proven track record of success in working with men in drug recovery, to purchase the necessary equipment and furnishings it needs to operate in Escanaba.
  • NorthCare Network ($100,000): In collaboration with Dial Help and Communities That Care, NorthCare’s project will implement the evidence-based Tri Ethnic Readiness Survey UP-wide to mobilize proper community response to substance used disorders, develop/provide messaging/education campaigns to raise awareness of substance use disorders based on the results of the survey, provide funds to evidence-based Communities That Care coalitions, increase evidence-based Guiding Choices providers by bringing a GGC trainer to the U.P. and expand Dial Help’s existing UP-wide Safety Net Program to provide systems navigation, services connection, and post-treatment follow-up to individuals seeking treatment for substance use disorders.
  • Great Lakes Recovery Centers ($118,055.10): This proactive grant will help tackle the opioid use problem in three tiers. The first tier of the program consists of a dedicated opioid use service navigation team to assist individual across the U.P. in locating and enrolling in services near them. Tier two of the program is to establish Medication Assisted Treatment services in the Eastern and Western parts of the Upper Peninsula to maximize accessibility to these services. Tier three is the development of in-home care teams which provide post-treatment services. SHF fully funded the last two tiers.

Sheri Davie, chair of the SHF Grants Committee and member of the SHF Board of Directors, said the grants committee welcomed the feedback of Dr. Kevin Piggott, representing the Western Marquette County Health Foundation, and Nora Maloy, PhD, representing the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Michigan, when it met to select the award winners for the proactive grants.

“It’s quite a process, but we feel good in that we selected a number of projects that we believe will play a defining role in reducing the incidence of substance use in our communities,” Davie said.  

The Superior Health Foundation Board of Directors has indicated it will be open to funding substance use issues again in 2018.

“There are several projects we identified that could benefit from two years of funding to adequately address the issues,” LaJoie said. “We realize this is no small task, but to do nothing is not the answer.”  

The SHF will accept applications for its Spring 2018 grants cycle in mid-December, with a deadline set for Jan. 15, 2018.

SHF welcomes new board director

Angela Victorson to represent Delta County

The Superior Health Foundation announces the addition of Angela Victorson of Bark River to its U.P-wide Board of Directors.

Victorson, a home mortgage consultant with Wells Fargo in Escanaba, has more than 30 years of Angela Victorsonexperience in the financial industry.

Victorson has been an active member in her community, serving in various roles with the Girl Scouts, 4-H club and the Heart of the Month Lions Club.

“I’m really looking forward to putting my experience in the financial industry to work and help the Superior Health Foundation with its goals,” Victorson said. “The foundation offers so many wonderful health-centered, grant-giving opportunities across the peninsula. I’m honored to serve on this board.”

In her spare time, Victorson enjoys traveling, motorcycling and camping.

The Superior Health Foundation, headquartered in Marquette, provides health-centered grant funding all across the Upper Peninsula. Its mission is to “to assist with unmet healthcare needs, with health education, and with programs and research on preventing illness and promoting health.” Its vision is “to improve the health of the residents of the Upper Peninsula.”

With the addition of Victorson, SHF now has 12 directors representing the Upper Peninsula.  

A PINK-tacular Pink Party!

Westwood High School, SHF pink it out!  

Painting the Peninsula Pink Day Sponsors

Pink 2017 Calendar-4

Sponsor a Day


SHF, Westwood High School partnering on Painting the Peninsula Pink

Pink Party planned for Gwinn-WHS varsity football game on Sept. 29

The Superior Health Foundation and Westwood Patriots have pink on their minds.

That’s because SHF and Westwood High School are partnering on a month-long “Painting the Peninsula Pink” event to raise invaluable funds to help breast cancer patients from all across the Upper Peninsula. 

Westwood Patriots logo

Proudly presented by mBank, the Superior Health Foundation and Westwood High School will co-host “The 31 Days of Pink” during the month of October to raise money for the Breast Health Fund. This account provides charitable funding to women and men across the Upper Peninsula to help cover the costs of mammograms, breast biopsies and other uncovered breast health expenses.

mBank logo

During October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Westwood’s athletic teams will sell pink merchandise at home events and in school, giving supporters the opportunity to purchase items in honor or memory of loved ones who have battled this horrific disease. The signature event for the “31 Days of Pink” will be a Pink Party at the Gwinn-Westwood varsity football game on Friday, Sept. 29. That evening, we’ll throw a pink party, auction off pink jerseys, auction off a spectacular Green Bay Packers football package, including tickets, and recognize breast cancer survivors.

During the month, area businesses are encouraged to become a day sponsor. For a tax-deductible gift of $250 to SHF, businesses will be recognized on the day they choose to support and are also encouraged to get in the spirt of raising funds for the cause.  

Sponsor a Day

Businesses will receive a “ Pink” flag to prominently display at their business to show your support. During each day in October, the sponsors will be prominently displayed on the Superior Health Foundation website and Facebook pages, with links to your business.

Painting the Peninsula Pink logo

“We’re thrilled to partner with Westwood High School on Painting the Peninsula Pink,” said Jim LaJoie, executive director of the Superior Health Foundation. “This event has grown in popularity with each passing year and it’s a wonderful opportunity to get adolescents involved in a cause that affects so many people. “

Added Jon Beckman, assistant principal and athletic director at WHS: “Our students, teachers and football team look forward to helping raise money for this fund. We’re honored to be a part of Painting the Peninsula pink.”

 For more information, please contact the Superior Health Foundation at 906-225-6914 or email

Thank you for FB and home page

Celebrating Five Years of Superior Health Foundation

Five year anniversary poster

Superior Health Foundation summer newsletter now available

Summer Newsletter0001

Reserve your seats for the 2017 Superior Health Foundation Gala

Reserve Seats

Equipment Fund match campaign announced

The Equipment Fund through the Superior Health Foundation is helping to improve the health of people in the Upper Peninsula. From winter sports helmets, to wheelchairs, to automatic external  defibrillators, to exercise equipment, the fund has proven to enrich lives and improve health outcomes for people all across the Upper Peninsula.

The SHF earmarks $10,000 annually for Equipment Fund purchases up to $2,500 and requests have far exceeded expectations. The SHF seeks to match $10,000 by teaming up with individuals and businesses in order to increase the number of requests granted through the Equipment Fund.

To learn about specific equipment wseds or discuss a personal cause of interest, please call Executive Director Jim LaJoie at 906-225-3431.


Superior Health Foundation spring newsletter now available

Download the Spring 2017 newsletter

Copies of the newsletter are also available in the Superior Health Foundation office.

Superior Health Foundation hosts Spring Awards Celebration

More than $83,300 in large grants and mini grants awarded to organizations all across the Upper Peninsula

The Superior Health Foundation awarded more than $83,300 in health-centered grant funding at its Spring Grants Celebration on Wednesday evening at the Holiday Inn in Marquette.  The Awards Celebration was sponsored by 44North.

The Superior Health Foundation awarded $83,381.74 in grants, with $64,419.86 being dispersed in large grants to 13 organizations across the Upper Peninsula. 

“The Superior Health Foundation is pleased to award large grant funding to 13 organizations across the Upper Peninsula,” said Jim LaJoie, executive director of the Superior Health Foundation. “We had 21 large grant requests to review and the committee did an outstanding job of supporting projects that align with our mission.”

Added Michael Coyne, MD, President of the SHF Board of Directors: “On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Superior Health Foundation, we’re happy to award charitable grant funding to so many deserving organizations.”

At the celebration, the SHF also recognized mini-grant winners from October 2016 through March 2017. In that period, $18,961.88 was awarded in mini-grants to 17 U.P organizations. 

A capsule look at the organizations receiving large grant funding Wednesday evening:

  • Bay Cliff, $5,000: Bay Cliff Health Camp is a non-profit therapy and wellness center in Big Bay for children and adults with disabilities and health challenges. Funds will be used to pay for the food and program/operating budget line items for a two-month summer therapy session at Bay Cliff Health Camp.
  • BBBS of Marquette and Alger Counties, $3,000: Big Brothers Big Sisters is a nationally recognized mentoring program that provides local caring community members as mentors to at-risk youth in the community. Funds will be used to send the matches to yoga sessions twice a week with equipment, and cooking classes that will be offered twice a month at the Marquette Food Co-op.
  • Breastfeeding Education and Support Team (B.E.S.T.) of Chippewa County, $9,800.50: B.E.S.T. is a multi-collaborative coalition and serves as a coordinating body for all agencies providing health care for breastfeeding women in Chippewa County. Funds will expand internet and social media presence, provide resources for coalition members to use when speaking to civic groups, and allow for the expansion of their Help Line services into Mackinac and Luce Counties. The funds will also provide training for 10 young community members to become experts in breastfeeding support and education.
  • Care Clinic, $898.00: Care Clinic is a non-profit pregnancy medical clinic in Marquette and Sawyer that helps those in need of education, resources, counseling, or support before, during or after pregnancy. Their project, Project Ultrasound, is to enhance and improve ultrasound services and technology equipment, as well as increase access to ultrasound services at the Care Clinic. The funds will help the Registered Nurse move on with the final stage of her training.
  • Great Lakes Recovery Centers, $9,000: Great Lakes Recovery Centers is a nationally accredited non-profit organization that provides prevention and treatment services for people suffering from substance abuse and mental health disorders. Their LUNA (Look, Uncover, Nurture, Act) Neuro Trauma Assessment Program started in 2016 to help children who show signs of development issues try to prevent serious issues, such as alcoholism and depression, from happening. Funds will be used to help the network and infrastructure development, outreach activities and navigation services for their LUNA program.
  • Just Believe, $6,000.00: Formed in memory of Jodi Ball, Just Believe is a non-profit started to educate age appropriate information to Kindergarteners in Negaunee and Gwinn Schools about melanoma and the dangers of over-exposure to sun. Its awareness has since expanded to Marquette schools for all ages. Funds will be used to provide sunscreen at outdoor events throughout Marquette County and beyond. 
  • Marquette-Alger RESA, $9,580.23: Marquette Alger Regional Educational Services Agency (MARESA) focuses on improving general education, special education, and professional learning for all children in Marquette and Alger counties. Funds will be used to purchase sit and stand desks, stability ball chairs, and wobbly chairs for each of the seven U.P Intermediate School Districts to help students with attention deficits to be able to pay better attention in the classroom.
  • Marquette Alternative High School, $2,099.93: Marquette Alternative High School provides students from Marquette and Alger counties a second chance to obtain their high school diploma. The She Believed/Dudefest program was started in the summer of 2014 to help students better their obesity, inactivity, lack of self-esteem, and improve interest in education. Funds will be used to expand the She Believed/Dudefest program by funding the equipment for indoor softball practice, punching bag equipment, Go Plus Weight Bench and weights, Jiu-jitsu self-defense and safety course, a trainer to teach proper lifting techniques, and cycling for life-long health.
  • Northern Lights YMCA, $11,000.00: The YMCA provides many outreach centers and programs to expand the work needed to meet each of the community’s crucial needs. In Delta County, some of those needs are targeting the alarming rate of obesity among children by creating an After School Fit & Fun Club. Funds will be used to purchase CATCH equipment.
  • RSVP, $2,943.74: The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program in Escanaba invites men and women 55 and older to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. Their Transportation program is given to anyone who is 60 years of age and older and who do not receive transportation from the Department of Health and Human Services through Medicaid and UPHP.  Funds will be used to fund two months’ worth of volunteer mileage reimbursement.
  • STAR Volunteers, $1,500.00: Sagola Township Area Rescue ambulance takes an average of 105 calls per year, including medical and trauma calls, personal injury, traffic accidents, and transports. They also volunteer for coverage for football games, fire calls, and lift assists. Funds will be used to purchase one new Automated External Defibrillator.
  • Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center, $1,497.00: Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center is a non-profit health center based in Houghton and operates nine service delivery locations in five U.P. counties. Funds will be used to provide textbooks and core competency training binders for the certification of five community health workers.
  • Women’s Center, Inc. – $4,100.46: The Women’s Center in Marquette supports victims of domestic and sexual violence in Marquette and Alger Counties through programs that protect, educate, advocate, counsel and empower women. SHF provided $2,100.46 in funding with a local donor matching the other $2,000 to purchase security doors for the facility.

SHF’s mission is “ to assist with unmet healthcare needs, with health education, and with programs and research on preventing illness and promoting health throughout the Upper Peninsula.” To learn more, visit


Superior Health Foundation winter newsletter now available

Download the winter 2017 newsletter

Copies of the newsletter are also available in the Superior Health Foundation office.

Please consider supporting SHF Equipment Fund!

The Superior Health Foundation earmarks $10,000 annually for the Equipment Fund for purchases up to $2,500. Unfortunately, the number of requests for funding in 2016 depleted those dollars in just seven months.

The SHF seeks to match $10,000 by teaming up with individuals and businesses to increase the number of granted requests in 2017. It’s simple. More dollars = more equipment needs that will get funded.

As you consider your year-end giving, please consider a charitable gift to the Superior Health Foundation Equipment Fund. Your philanthropic support will:

* help equip children with safety helmets

* equip retail stores with wheelchairs

* provide GPS-based LifeTrackers to empower mentally disabled adults with independence

* provide mobile first responder kits to law enforcement so emergency medical treatment can begin as soon as police arrive on the scene

* equip common areas with AED’s to allow everyday people the opportunity to provide life-sustaining treatment

* And many more …



SHF presents health department with $16,000 raised during Painting the Peninsula Pink!

The 2016 Painting the Peninsula Pink, an annual fundraiser in October for the Superior Health Foundation Breast Health Fund, raised nearly $18,000. Of that amount, close to $2,000 went back to Pink Partner Gladstone High School to purchase health-centered equipment at the school. The remaining $16,000 goes directly to the fund, which provides charitable dollars for men and women across the Upper Peninsula to help with out-of-pocket breast health expenses. The fund is designed for the uninsured and those facing high deductibles and co-pays for breast health. The maximum award to an individual is $1,000. On Thursday, the check was presented to the Marquette County Health Department (MCHD), which oversees the fund in cooperation with the other health departments in the U.P. From left are Jim LaJoie, executive director of the Superior Health Foundation, Bobbie Champion of the MCHD and Jerry Messana, Health Officer, MCHD. SHF encourages patients to learn more about the fund by visiting

SHF presents Pink dollars to Gladstone Public Schools

The Superior Health Foundation proudly presented Gladstone Public Schools with a check for $1,941.29, representing a portion of the net proceeds raised during Painting the Peninsula Pink in October for the SHF Breast Health Fund. “SHF partnered with Gladstone High School during the month, and the students and administration did a sensational job helping secure day sponsors and ensure our Pink Party was a resounding success,” said Jim LaJoie, executive director of the Superior Health Foundation. “We couldn’t have asked for a better partner. Athletic Director Andy Jacques and the students were awesome to work with.” With the proceeds, Gladstone will purchase specialized football helmets for players who have had previous concussions and a vacuum immobilizer to help stabilize fractures and dislocations without circumferential pressure. Pictured, from left, back row, are players Ben Schwalbach, Owen Carlson, Daniel Berg, Austin Berquist, Tanner Brown and Trevor Aird.  In the front row are LaJoie, Jacques, OSF Athletic Trainer Brad Landis and Gladstone High School Principal Brady Downey. Painting the Peninsula Pink was presented by Baybank in Gladstone. (SHF photo)

SHF accepting requests for event sponsorships

 The Superior Health Foundation provides sponsorships to non-profit organizations hosting events that align with our mission of assisting with unmet healthcare needs, with health education, and with programs and research on preventing illness and promoting health. The maximum sponsorship in a calendar year is $500 per organization.



SFH Fall Grants Video

Superior Health Foundation – Grant Awards Ceremony from La Dolce Video & Design on Vimeo.

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MSU Today showcases SHF’s largest grant to date to address childhood obesity in the U.P.

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Grants At Work

Students at Gwinn Middle School had an opportunity to be trained in the American Heart Association’s (AHA’s) Family and Friends CPR Program in Mrs. Micheau’s 8th grade health education class.


 “I have to give a lot of credit to one of our bus drivers, Dave Oysti, for planting the idea. He called the school last year and was very passionate about finding out how to get students trained in CPR,” says Mrs. Micheau. Mr. Oysti is also a paramedic.

This past summer, Mrs. Micheau researched how to get a project like this funded.

 “I submitted a mini-grant request to the Superior Health Foundation and was awarded $2,500 to pay for the curriculum, manikins, AED trainers and supplies,” Mrs. Micheau said. “I think it was a great idea, and after I did some research on the different curriculums through the AHA, I realized this is a very attainable goal because students don’t have to be certified to know CPR … they just need to be trained properly.”

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Superior Health Foundation fall newsletter now available


Download the fall 2016 newsletter

Copies of the newsletter are also available in the Superior Health Foundation office.

SHF, Run For Life provide funding to local organ donor


Amanda Specker of Big Bay, center, receives a check for $500 from Jim LaJoie, left, executive director of the Superior Health Foundation, and Amy Harju, organizer for U.P. Run for Life. The funding came from the SHF’s Run For Life Organ Donation Fund, which provides philanthropic funding to organ donors and recipients to help defray the cost of travel expenses to the University of Michigan or Madison, Wis. Today, Specker is donating one of her kidneys to Nicole Lenard of St. Claire Shores in a procedure at U-M. With proceeds raised from the annual Run For Life run/walk in June and individual gifts, SHF has provided funding to a number of organ donors and recipients over the past several years. Please consider supporting this fund with a charitable gift by visiting To view the TV 6 story, visit…/

UPDATE:SHF accepting mini-grant proposals

The Superior Health Foundation reviews mini-grant applications monthly to help provide funding for small, innovative health-centered projects across the Upper Peninsula. Students, neighborhood groups, local clubs, non-profits, and anyone within the Upper Peninsula who wishes to improve the quality of life in their community are encouraged to apply. Students need an adult sponsor. The SHF provides $25,000 in funds annually from its grants budget for distribution, with the maximum grant amount being $2,500. Selection is contingent upon funds available and how well proposals meet the criteria of benefiting the broader region. SHF also provides an additional $10,000 in its annual grants budget to provide funding for health-centered equipment purchases of $2,500 or less. Mini-grants need to be used for charitable health-centered purposes and be consistent with SHF’s mission, which is “to assist with unmet healthcare needs, with health education, and with programs and research on preventing illness and promoting health.” Other factors which may be taken into consideration include: if the project is new and creative; if the project has visible and lasting benefits for the region; the number of citizens benefited by the project; and the amount of matching support the project has from other businesses, groups or individuals. A detailed budget must accompany each application to be considered for funding. Click on the link below to complete the online mini-grant application. Only online applications will be accepted. View Grants at Work
Mini-Grant Policy

2018 Winter Newsletter

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