Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Superior Health Foundation? The Superior Health Foundation (SHF) is a conversion 501 c (3) foundation that materialized on Sept. 1, 2012, following Duke LifePoint’s acquisition of Marquette General Health System. It is a stand-alone corporation and is not affiliated in any way with Duke LifePoint or Marquette General.

What happened to the Marquette General Foundation? The Marquette General Foundation, which provided charitable funding to Marquette General to invest in new technologies and equipment, spun into the SHF.  Its non-profit tax ID was transferred to SHF.

What is the mission of the SHF? Its mission is assist with unmet healthcare needs, with health education, and with programs and research on preventing illness and promoting health. That mission may include supporting (a) the unmet healthcare needs of the indigent and uninsured; (b) healthcare education programs; (c) supporting programs and research which have the primary purpose of preventing and reducing illness and disease; and (d) other programs to promote the health, education and welfare of the community.

This is a grant-giving organization. When are we awarding grants to various health-related projects in the Upper Peninsula?  The SHF Board of Directors took action at a board meeting in 2013, stating that SHF will begin entertaining grant applications in the Winter 2014. In the Fall 2014, SHF awarded more than $320,000 in health-centered grants, with 2/3 of that funding going to improve the Oral Health for Children in the Upper Peninsula. The SHF Board continues to communicate with a variety of stakeholders throughout the Upper Peninsula to receive input and feedback on how SHF can have the most effective impact on health issues in the communities of the U.P. The feedback we receive helps us to develop a strategic grant-making policy for serving our communities.

Is there a reason grants were not awarded until 2014? Yes.  Acting on the advice of an experienced consultant, the SHF board voted to invest the corpus in a growth-driven investment in order to give the principal time to grow. Investment earnings from the principal, per the Foundation’s spending policy, are awarded in health-centered grants.

Will the Foundation continue to raise charitable gifts? Absolutely. It is the SHF’s intent to work with donors on finding charitable gift opportunities that appeal to them and benefits its mission. To learn about the Superior Circle and how you can philanthropically support, visit

How can I help? Your feedback and opinions are important to us. Please drop us a line or call us with ideas you may have for future funding projects!  And, we’re always looking for volunteer help. If interested, let us know!

Who sits on the Board of Directors for SHF? Dr. Dan Arnold (Marquette) is the President and Dr. Mike Coyne (Marquette) is the Vice President. The remaining board members are Robert Cowell (Big Bay), Sheri Davie (Negaunee),  Joan Haara (Michigamme), Lisa Lavasseur (Wakefield), Tom Luckey (Munising), John Marshall (Marquette), Mary Maurer (St. Ignace), Pat Rudden (Escanaba), Bruce Seely, Ph.D., (Houghton), Carolyn Severson (Champion) and William Verrette (Iron Mountain).

Where is the SHF located? On Nov. 1, 2012, it relocated to 121 N. Front St. in Marquette, next to the Q 107 studio. It can be reached at 906-225-6914 or at

Who works for the SHF? The Foundation is staffed by two full-time employees: Executive Director Jim LaJoie (; and Accountant and Database/Grants Coordinator Laura Jarvi ( We also employ part-time Foundation Assistant Leah Berthiaume ( and student intern.