Superior Health Foundation

Grants at Work – Featured

In Fall 2018, the Superior Health Foundation awarded Feeding America West Michigan a $21,456 large grant for the U.P. Mobiles program. From September 2018 through August 2019, 86 mobile food pantries were held in the U.P., providing 1,244,787 pounds of food for neighbors in need.

The SHF grant paid for eight of the mobile pantries that provided 130,002 pounds of food at five locations, which is the equivalent of 108,335 meals! Of this food, 57.7 percent was produce, 18.6 percent dairy and 10.5 percent protein.

The mobile pantries provided food to 2,299 non-discrete families comprised of 5,672 individuals. Of these individuals, 26.8 percent were children, 26.1 percent were seniors and 3.8 percent were veterans.

Feeding America West Michigan provides a wonderful service and SHF is blessed to support its initiatives to provide healthy food for those in need.

Five Hope Animal Assisted Crisis Response teams were available at the Joseph K. Lumsden Bahweting Anishnabe School (K-8) and Lincoln Elementary in Sault Ste. Marie. SHF has provided funding over the past several years to assure these highly trained dogs are available to provide comfort in times of stress and need. We’re happy to support!

In July 2019, the Superior Health Foundation awarded the Presbytery Point Camp and Conference Center on Lake Michigamme a $1,195 mini-grant to purchase EpiPens and AED pads for the camping season. It was able to purchase 2-packs of Adult and Pediatric EpiPens that should carry them through the next couple of years. 

Having EpiPens allowed the camp and conference center to provide a full camp offering to children from across the Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Michigan. Having a ready-to-use AED allows them to provide a safe camping atmosphere for their campers.


Providing an opportunity for a better future was on the minds of many people as they came together to make the new Ripple Recovery Residence in L’Anse a reality, and soon the new facility will be welcoming its first residents.


“This project is a culminating effort of concerned citizens trying to make a difference in their community for residents struggling with addiction and its many challenges,” said Greg Toutant, chief executive officer at Great Lakes Recovery Centers (GLRC). “The compassion, support and determination to help others has been a driving force for all those involved. It takes a team effort of funders, providers, community leaders and residents to make the creation of new programming possible.”

The main driving force for the house was the local residents involved with the Drug Abatement and Rehabilitation Team (DART), including Dr. Harold Ripple, who the house was named after.


“This is a great thing for the area,” said Dr. Ripple, who’s countless hours and generous gifts were vital to the house opening its doors for healing. “This is a great start and we could become a more inclusive program for those affected by addiction. There are a number of people over here who have done incredible amounts of work. Some of the women have been there every day getting the place ready. We need to give credit where credit is due — those women who have been behind this from the beginning have been relentless.”


The house is owned and operated by GLRC, but without the collaboration of DART, Superior Health Foundation (SHF) and Portage Health Foundation (PHF), it wouldn’t have been possible. Superior Health Foundation provided a $44,000 grant and Portage Health Foundation provided a $38,365 grant. Additionally, NorthCare Network, local donors and community support have been instrumental in helping to support and fund recovery housing.


“The Superior Health Foundation is excited to see the Ripple Recovery Residence open its doors,” said Jim LaJoie, executive director of the Superior Health Foundation. “This house, this ambitious project, really fills an unmet need for females as they begin the journey to recovery. It promises to be a wonderful addition to the community, a safe place where women and their children can live in a welcoming, nurturing environment focused on recovery. The Superior Health Foundation is very honored to help philanthropically support this initiative.”


“This home is the result of nearly three years of community exploration and collaboration,” said Kevin Store, executive director at PHF. “The genesis of this project was a conversation brought forward in 2016 by former PHF board member Nicole Collins and Dr. Ripple. If not for their tenacious advocacy for the people of this community, and the awareness they helped create surrounding the level of need for people afflicted with substance and alcohol addiction in Baraga County, this project may not have been realized. Their commitment and engagement with us brought about a focused effort on finding a solution for this community.


“This house for female residents in recovery is an example of how people from multiple sectors can come together in a solution-focused effort to help find ways to address needs that exist in our community,” added Store. ” The Portage Health Foundation is proud to be a participant and co-funder of the house, but most importantly we are proud of the people who made this a reality. Their passion, patience, persistence and willingness to collaborate should serve as a role model for others who want to find scalable solutions that serve our community.”


Recovery housing is focused on helping people develop their independence and learn about themselves, all while focusing on recovery. Many people do not have a safe and sober living environment to go to once they complete treatment, which is where the Ripple Recovery Residence can come in. It has worked for many at GLRC’s other locations, including the unnamed person who provided the following testimonial about their time at Sue B’s in Marquette.


“So much of my struggle with addiction was in isolation. I always thought that because it was a mess I had gotten myself into, then I would be the only one to get myself out. My experience in Sue B’s house has taught me the opposite. Even though the women in this house have very different lives, problems, experiences, we are all just fighting to get our lives back. Being able to experience that struggle together and witness each others’ successes and challenges, can only happen at a place like this. Being able to see the progress in each other makes it easier to see that same progress in my own journey. We are building relationships that are based on mutual respect between people who have struggled and survived the same near-fatal catastrophe. I know now that if I’m not strong enough, I don’t need to be. The strength in these women, here at Sue B’s house, will get me through.”


Learn more about Great Lakes Recovery Centers and the Ripple Recovery Residence, including how to apply to heal there, by visiting

In April 2019, the Superior Health Foundation awarded a $2,500 mini-grant to the Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center for its SUMBTC Chemocare basket program 2018-2019. The Students for the Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center recognize that people undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer have a difficult time enjoying experiences in their lives due to the harsh effects of these treatments.

Seeing a chance to help in another way, it became a new goal to try and bring as much joy as they could into the lives of cancer patients. With this in mind, the students initiated the ChemoCare basket program. The baskets are turned over to nurses in the oncology department. Baskets include Huron Mountain Bakery Gift Certificates, water bottles, spa gift certificates, movie gift cards, meditation color books, colored pencils, puzzle books and a cookbook.

We’re proud to support this project!

In Spring 2019, the Superior Health Foundation awarded a $15,640 large grant to Cedar Tree Institute for its Horizon Project.

This project has four goals: 1) Provide awareness and education of mind/body relaxation techniques; 2) Teach four specific mind/body relaxation techniques to seniors; 3) Reduce stress levels of seniors; and 4) Increase healthy decision-making among seniors.

The Horizons Project has successfully completed nine mind/body workshops at senior centers in Ishpeming, Gwinn and Marquette – presenting to 135 participants. Participant surveys were conducted, and as a result of the workshops, increases were shown in the number of people who said their mind feels at ease, they know techniques for managing stress, they’re aware of their breathing and they’re experiencing no pain. And, last but not least, they feel hopeful.

Feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive.

SHF is proud to support this initiative and believes strongly that it can be replicated with other groups.

Superior Health Foundation
Superior Health Foundation
Several weeks ago, the Superior Health Foundation partnered with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to provide funding to public schools in the U.P. to assure lunches are available. BCBS and SHF each committed $12,500 in funding to the project.
We're pleased to report that dozens of school districts across the region have been provided funding to help them through the Covid-19 Pandemic.
There are limited dollars still remaining in the fund. If interested in applying, simply visit and click on the Covid-19 Relief School Meal Funding Application.
The map below and accompanying info show the U.P. counties impacted by this funding. It goes without saying that SHF is tremendously grateful to BCBS of Michigan for engaging SHF on this incredible partnership to feed our children.
Superior Health Foundation
Superior Health Foundation
As many of you know, the Superior Health Foundation launched the Covid-19 Pandemic Fund a week ago today to help health-centered, non-profits and organizations across the Upper Peninsula with immediate equipment, sanitary supplies and other other needs. We want to hear from you.
To date, we have funded a number of organizations across the U.P. and we want to do more. We're willing and able to talk, to listen, to help you during this unprecedented time.
To apply for funding, for up to $1,000, simply visit and click on the Covid-19 Pandemic Fund button on the home page.
We also encourage you to give a charitable, tax-deductible git to help support this fund. With your generosity, we can help many, many during this time of angst and uncertainty. You can direct your gift to the area of greatest need, to masks, to cleaning supplies and to office equipment.
Thank you for your tremendous support. If you have questions or needs, simply email
Superior Health Foundation
Superior Health Foundation
Covid-19 Update on UP Connect/Rides For Wellness for Non-Emergent Medical Transportation in the U.P.

At this time, public transit agencies across the Upper Peninsula and the MTC ConnectUP Rides To Wellness program are still operating as normal. We are still accepting trip requests and fulfilling them and will continue to do so as long as our transportation partners remain open and functioning.
As everything with the new reality we are living under the Covid-19 pandemic, this situation is fluid and can change on a daily basis. Unless transit agencies are forced to suspend operations, though, we intend to still be able to function and schedule trips.
We are seeing a lot of medical appointments cancelled, some by the medical providers and some by the riders who do not choose to venture out of their homes. We have worked with all of our providers to make sure that vehicles are properly cleaned and disinfected on a regular daily schedule, often several times per day.
We have temporarily suspended further build-out of our transportation provider network and have cut back significantly on bringing on new funding partners; however, due to the uncertainty of the current situation.
All of our MTC employees are currently working remotely from their homes.
We are hopeful that the immediate danger from the coronavirus will pass quickly and that we can resume full operations in the not-too-distant future.

Newsletter Sign Up

Newsletter Sign Up