Superior Health Foundation

Superior Health Foundation awards Spring grants

The Superior Health Foundation awarded nearly $124,000 in health-centered grant funding this spring. 

The Superior Health Foundation awarded $123,636.51, with $96,261.07 being dispersed in spring grants to nine organizations across the Upper Peninsula.  

In light of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the need for social isolation, SHF did not hold a spring grants celebration. Grant monies were mailed to all the recipients in early April. 

“The Superior Health Foundation is honored to award large grant funding to nine very deserving organizations across the region,” said Jim LaJoie, executive director of the Superior Health Foundation. “Although we sorely missed visiting with all of our friends, neighbors and donors across the region, we’re thankful we were able to provide many organizations with much-needed funding.” 

At the celebration, the SHF also awarded $9,875.44 in mini-grants to nine U.P.-wide organizations from October through April 2020, along with $17,500 in Indigent Care funding. 

A capsule look at the organizations receiving large grant funding: 

  • Marquette Mountain Ski Patrol ($3,330) – The Marquette Mountain Ski Patrol provides direct (personnel & equipment) and in-direct (equipment only), four-season support of large events around Marquette. There are approximately 6,700 participants, 1,200 of whom are under the age of 18, in addition to countless amounts of spectators and volunteers. Each has the potential to require emergency/urgent medical response and treatment. This grant will fund two, 800 Mhz radios to be used at these events.
  • Trillium House ($4,500) – Trillium House is the only social model hospice home serving the communities of the central Upper Peninsula. Awhile back, Trillium House became the recipient of two Stryker InTouch model hospital beds. These modern hospital beds and the special mattresses that came with them have been very helpful in caring for hospice patients. This grant will allow them to purchase two more of these beds. There will be signs on them that say they were funded by SHF in honor of Dr. Dan Mazzuchi. 
  • Single District 10 Lions of Michigan ($5,547.10) – In April of 2004, the Lions of Michigan Service Foundation began working with Lions of Tennessee to bring Project KidSight in Michigan to provide free vision screening to children ages 6 months to 18 years old. In April 2005, this project was made an official project for Single District 10 Lions. Since they were able to purchase digital screeners, Lions of Upper Michigan have screened between 500-1,000 kids per year. This has been due to the addition of the KidSight Mobile Vision Screening Trailer, which is a 7- by 14-foot trailer that is capable of being towed by any midsize SUV. The graphics enhance the trailer on all four sides, making the vision program easily identifiable. The trailers come with a 3,000-watt generator, allowing for a self-sustained operation of heating, cooling and electrical systems at outdoor events. This grant will allow the Lions Club to purchase another KidSight Mobile Vision Screening trailer to expand testing. 
  • 906 Adventure Team ($7,000) – The 906 Adventure Team is a non-profit organization that serves the youth and adults in Marquette, Delta and Gogebic counties with the goal of empowering people to become the best version of themselves through outdoor adventure. This grant will allow the 906 Adventure Team to expand its Adventure Bike Club by purchasing 20- and 24-inch bikes, along with two-way radios with external mics for the bike clubs in Gogebic and Delta counties.
  • Dickinson-Iron District Health Department ($7,868) – The use of e-cigarettes and vaping has become an urgent public health epidemic with a rapid rise in youth vaping rates. From 2018-2019, national vaping rates went from 20 to 27.5 percent in high-school age children and 5 to 10.5 percent in middle schoolers. With this grant, the Dickinson-Iron Health Department will implement a community-wide youth vaping prevention program in efforts to reduce the amount of people using e-cigarettes and vaping. It partnered with six schools to share this curriculum with. Each will be getting a portion of this grant money for their education.  The Dickinson County Hospital Foundation provided matching funding to fully fund this project.  
  • Cedar Tree Institute ($10,000) – The Cedar Tree Institute’s work in the field of mental health has been rooted in collaborative relationships with medical professionals since 1995. Programs and projects have included trainings for teachers, social workers, clergy and physicians. The Horizon Project is a wellness and health initiative designed to address the elevated levels of stress among elderly citizens on matters related to decisions about medical care, grief about the loss of mobility, fear of diminishing relationships, and anxiety regarding end-of-life issues. This grant will fund phase two of this project. 
  • Pathways ($11,700) – InSHAPE is an evidence-based practice for individuals with serious and persistent mental illness. The goal of InSHAPE is to improve physical health, quality of life and reduce the risk of preventable diseases in order to enhance the life expectancy of these individuals. Participants meet with a health mentor each week to work on modifiable lifestyle habits, including physical activity, healthy eating and sleep in order to address the medical needs. Marquette County has successfully implemented the program for four years while gathering data. This fully funded grant will assist Pathways in funding gym memberships for the program as well as celebrations and shoes. 
  • Great Lakes Recovery Centers ($20,000) – Great Lakes Recovery Centers is a non-profit organization that provides behavioral health services across the Upper Peninsula. It has developed a U.P.-wide suicide prevention project, L.I.V.E., that aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and increase education surrounding suicide prevention and mental health throughout the U.P. LIVE is a positive mental health campaign that teaches individuals to Love yourself, Include others, Value life and Engage community. This project will facilitate Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk and Mental Health First Aid courses within the community. This funding will allow GLRC to implement this project throughout the U.P. 
  • Caregiver Incentive Project ($26,315.97) – The Caregiver Incentive Project (CIP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of the cared for by supporting caregivers. On a local, state and national level, there is a caregiver crisis facing our communities. As the number of individuals needing care continues to rise, there is an alarming shortage of qualified caregivers to meet this critical need. In Michigan, as well as many other areas across the country, there is little or no training for in-home caregivers and few, if any, regulations that set the minimum requirements for those caring for the most vulnerable in our communities. To increase the number of qualified in-home care givers, CIP is working to improve training and provide incentives for caregivers as well as advocate for changes in pay and recognition. This funding will allow CIP to implement its Development Training and Training Delivery portions of its  program to help address the need for caregivers. 

SHF also awarded $17,500 in Indigent Care funding to these organizations: 

  • Omega House ($2,500) – Omega House in Houghton provides end-of-life care to all in need regardless of financial situation. In 2019, it created the Gerald Vairo Memorial Fund that helps Omega House residents with very limited resources to have the ability to reside in Omega House. Since the inception of the fund, it has provided care to seven residents who utilized this indigent fund, providing 48, no-cost care days to those seven residents. The committee funded half of its request to add more monies to further expand this fund. 
  • Cancer Care of Marquette County ($5,000) – Cancer Care of Marquette County is an all-volunteer organization that provides funding to residents in Marquette County with a cancer diagnosis and are unable to respond to the healthcare costs caused by their disease and its treatment. They serve 50 to 80 people annually. 
  • Diocesan Council of Marquette MI Society of St. Vincent de Paul ($5,000) – The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a Catholic lay organization, international in scope, that responds to the needs of others through personal contact.  It helps with housing, transportation, emergency prescription services, and visiting people in their homes and nursing homes.  Across the Upper Peninsula, many neighbors in need are unable to pay for emergency prescriptions or other medical costs. This grant will go toward seed money to establish funds for its Emergency Prescription Fund in the Ironwood, Iron Mountain and Copper Country districts. 
  • Trillium House ($5,000)  Trillium House is dedicated to providing a safe and comfortable home during their hospice journey. To date, they have served 65 hospice patients and their loved ones from across the U.P.  It is also the only hospice home serving the residents of the central U.P.  The Care Fund is designed to garner support from all aspects of the central U.P. community to fund the difference between what residents can pay and the costs involved in having the home available. 

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.” 

In its seven and one-half years of existence, SHF has now awarded more than $2.9 million in health-centered grant funding. 

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