Superior Health Foundation awards Spring Grants

The Superior Health Foundation awarded more than $272,000 in health-centered grant funding at its spring grants celebration Wednesday evening at the Holiday Inn in Marquette. The event was proudly presented by 44 North in Marquette. 

The SHF awarded $272,971, with $126,446 being awarded in spring grants to six organizations. These grants will go towards bettering Upper Peninsula communities for the future.

“We are elated to offer invaluable funding to so many incredible, deserving organizations across the region,” said Jim LaJoie, executive director of the SHF. “With COVID-19 and the worldwide pandemic, many nonprofits are facing some incredibly challenging times. We’re hopeful this funding plays a role in helping our health-centered friends and neighbors with carrying out meaningful and invaluable projects that improve the health and well-being of people.”

At the celebration, SHF also awarded $99,996 to four organizations with a focus on improving children’s mental health. This past year has been very difficult and SHF, along with matching funding support from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, recognizes how the pandemic has had an adverse effect on children’s mental health.

The following is a capsule look at the organizations receiving spring grants from Superior Health Foundation:

  • Great Lakes Recovery Center ($40,181) – GLRC is a non-profit CARF-accredited agency specializing in substance abuse and mental health treatment for youth, families and adults. GLRC applied for funding for the relocation of their residential treatment center in Sault Ste. Marie and the creation of a recovery center in the eastern U.P. SHF grant funding will go toward the purchase of IT and security equipment infrastructure, kitchen appliances, dressers, nightstands, desk, chairs and other equipment needs at Men’s New Hope House and the Women’s Recovery House. 
  • Caregiver Incentive Project ($37,365) – Caregiver Incentive Project was granted funding for its Care Close to Home Project. Funding from this grant will go toward building a community-based program to address the needs of qualified caregivers in the Upper Peninsula.  The program will identify current and potential caregivers and connect them with individuals in need of care (i.e., elders, youth and adults with disabilities, and the medically fragile). This program helps improve access to care by educating the public about potential employment opportunities in the in-home setting, directing individuals to resources available and providing support to help both caregivers and care recipients to improve the caregiving experience.
  • Feeding America West Michigan ($22,650) – Feeding America West Michigan applied for funding to expand its Mobile Food Pantry program in the Upper Peninsula. SHF’s grant will fund seven, 15,000 pound, 300-family mobile food pantries across the U.P.  This will deliver 105,000 pounds of food, or approximately 87,500 meals, to 2,100 families in need.  SHF hopes this grant will directly affect food insecurity across the Upper Peninsula.
  • Community Foundation of the Upper Peninsula ($10,250) – The Community Foundation of the Upper Peninsula provides financial support to qualified tax-exempt organizations for projects aimed at solving community problems or enhancing life in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. CFUP applied for funding to provide supplies for its Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) project.  Since 2008, the Community Foundation for Delta County has provided AEDs in all Delta County police cars, firehouses, community centers, senior centers, many nonprofits, schools and churches.  SHF’s grant funds will help purchase new adult pads, pediatric pads and AED batteries to replace the expired supplies needed for the AEDs.
  • Marquette County Habitat for Humanity ($8,500): Marquette County Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. As part of its mission, it applied for funding to provide a portable ramp system for residents in Marquette County.  The portable aluminum wheelchair ramp system will benefit people who are getting out of the hospital or nursing/rehab facility who are in a wheelchair and do not have a way to enter their own home without assistance.  This ramp system can be assembled at the resident’s home in one day, thus saving the resident from an escalating hospital bill.
  • DAR Boys and Girls Club of Menominee and Marinette ($7,500): DAR Boys and Girls Club of Menominee and Marinette aims to promote and build character, leadership, physical well-being and self-esteem for all boys and girls through Club interaction and social, educational and recreational programs. Funding will support transportation and supplies for the Smart Moves Emotional Wellness program. SMART Moves: Emotional Wellness is a targeted health and wellness core program area that supports healthy lifestyles. It builds the foundational social-emotional and health skills that will enable youth to make healthy decisions. People with better social-emotional skills report participating in fewer risk behaviors, including substance use and smoking.

Additionally, SHF awarded $99,996 in funding to address children’s mental health issues in the Upper Peninsula: 

  • Catholic Social Services of the Upper Peninsula ($30,000): CSSUP applied for funding for its Inspiring Hope Program.  Establishing this new program will allow CSSUP to expand its current individual outpatient therapy, child welfare case management and advocacy efforts by interconnecting each to enhance their overall efforts to serve families in need. Synchronizing multiple services to support one program will allow them to enable more children and families to move from a baseline of understanding mental illness to self-sufficiency and opportunity while living with a mental health condition as a child.
  • The Lakes Community Health Center Inc. ($25,000): The Lakes Community Health Center, located in Ironwood, requested funding for the North Lakes Community Clinic Behavioral Expansion Project. This project will expand its Behavioral Health Department with the addition of a full-time therapist who can see children from Michigan regardless of their ability to pay.  The addition of this third Behavioral Health therapist will provide new resources for children living in the Ironwood area. In addition, these children will have access to additional services such as medical, dental and chiropractic care. A Community Health Worker can provide social support and remove additional barriers to care for the child and family.
  • Marquette-Alger RESA ($25,000):  MARESA is one of 56 regional educational service agencies created by Michigan law in 1962 to help local school districts provide high-quality education for its students while maximizing district resources. MARESA applied for funding for its “Ensure Success for the Whole Child Program.” With so many children being separated from their schools due to COVID-19, this program aims to reconnect students to their schools and serve as liaison and advocate for parents to encourage students.  It will also establish a hotline for parents seeking help and have the capabilities for “boots on the ground” visits to families in need.
  • YMCA of Marquette County ($19,996): The YMCA of Marquette County applied for funding for its “The Y is Medicine Program.” This program will implement mental health programming starting in Marquette and expanding to other YMCAs in the U.P.  The programming includes Dinner Table Resilience, Generation Mindful and the Time-In Toolkit.  Dinner Table Resilience will help people get through challenging circumstances and come out stronger on the other side.  Generation Mindful is a tangible, evidence-based tool to help parents and educators apply the science of positive discipline for children.  The Time-In Toolkit is a guided resource that nurtures social and emotions skills in children and adults via play and positive discipline. Finally, YMCA staff will also be trained in Mental Health First Aid.

Finally, SHF granted $15,000 in Indigent Care grants: 

  • Great Lakes Recovery Centers, Inc ($5,000): GLRC was granted funds for its Compassionate Care Fund. This fund aims to help individuals who are uninsured, under insured and not eligible for community or governmental funding and do not have the means to pay for it on their own. 
  • Trillium House ($5,000): Funding was granted to Trillium House’s Trillium House Care Fund. The effort of this fund is to garner support from all aspects of the central Upper Peninsula to fund the difference between what residents can pay and the costs involved in having the home available to residents.
  • Marquette County Habitat for Humanity ($5,000): Additional funds from Indigent Care grants will help purchase materials needed to build four permanent wooden ramps for Marquette County residents.  These permanent ramps will provide safe access to the homes of people in wheelchairs who may not be able to afford to purchase a ramp on their own.

The Superior Health Foundation’s mission is to “assist with unmet healthcare needs, with health education, and with programs and research on preventing illness and promoting health in the Upper Peninsula.”

SHF accepts grant proposals monthly for pilot project and equipment grants.

Applications for the fall grants cycle will be accepted from June 1 through July 1. To learn more and apply for funding,

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