Superior Health Foundation

Spring and Fall Grants

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Superior Health Foundation Hosts Fall Grants Celebration

Health-centered non-profit organization awards record-setting amount in grants.

The Superior Health Foundation in Marquette awarded more than $443,000 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 awarded $26,818.10 in mini-grants, $99,956 in large grants, $10,000 in Indigent Care grants and $306,523.35 in funding to address substance use issues in the Upper Peninsula. All told, $443,297.45 was dispersed to organizations across the region.

 In its six-year existence, SHF has now provided more than $2 million in grant funding to dozens of non-profit, health-centered organizations across the U.P.

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 $1,320,778.45 to proactive projects to address oral health for children, mental health wellness, pediatric obesity and substance use. The substance use initiative is a two-year funding project to address a dire concern in the Upper Peninsula.

“The Superior Health Foundation is honored to be in position to provide funding to so many incredible health-centered causes across the region,” said Jim LaJoie, executive director of the Superior Health Foundation. “Our U.P.-wide board of directors and team recognizes substance use issues in the Upper Peninsula and their complexities. We feel strongly we have chosen four 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 17 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 Bruce Seely, PhD, president of the SHF Board of Directors. “To award more than $440,000 in an evening is incredible. 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 organizations:

  • Just Believe (Up to $3,000): Just Believe is a non-profit organization that was created in memory of Jodi Ball, who passed away from melanoma. Their mission is to bring sun safety/skin cancer awareness and prevention presentations for youth through high school. SHF provided $1,500 in funding to purchase three additional sunscreen dispensers across the region. SHF will provide an additional $1,500 if Just Believe can raise $1,500 from other sources.
  • Great Lakes Recovery Centers ($6,000): The Mental Health and High School Curriculum project would bring a national trainer to Marquette to train 10-20 teachers in the mental health and high school curriculum. The curriculum has six modules that talk about the stigma associated with mental illnesses, give students a better understanding of mental illnesses, and encourage students to find help/ support the importance of mental health. SHF provided $5,000 in funding for training expenses and another $1,000 to evaluate the program.
  • Public Health Delta & Menominee Counties ($14,500): Lead is a heavy metal that can be found in many things such as: soil, water, cosmetics and some home remedies. No safe level of exposure has been identified for children. The accumulation of lead in the body can lead to detrimental physical deformities later on in life. Childhood lead poisoning prevention awareness and education are unmet healthcare needs in the U.P. All six local health departments in the U.P. have reported cases of children with elevated Blood Lead Levels. Funding will be used to create a Childhood Lead Poisoning Awareness and Education media-based campaign to educate people on the dangers and effects of childhood lead poisoning, and to promote screening in children.
  • 906 Adventure Team ($15,000): Since its inception in 2014, the 906 Adventure Team has been dedicated to helping kids live healthier lifestyles and develop critical life skills through mentored cycling activities and stewardship as well as wellness and nutrition education. It has helped 200-plus kids get moving, secured 10,000-plus volunteer hours, averaged 100-plus individuals for family events, created three after-school and six club programs, and partnered with over a dozen local organizations. SHF provided one-time funding to help with operational support for funding a full-time executive director.
  • Michigan Fitness Foundation ($15,000):  AmeriCorps Safe Routes to Health was developed through a planning grant by assessing barriers and opportunities to better understand and address unmet health needs through health, wellness, and physical activity programs in select counties in underserved low-income communities with high obesity rates across Michigan. SHF provided funding for AmeriCorps member services and expenses related to service in Sault Ste. Marie. Additional funds can be used for marketing and community outreach, program materials and other supplies for the program.
  • Feeding America West Michigan ($21,456):  Feeding America West Michigan’s mission is to gather and distribute food to relieve hunger and increase food security in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. They serve 40 out of the 83 counties in Michigan, targeting the highest need areas with the highest rates of food insecurity. SHF funds will help with eight mobile food strucks in the U.P. that covers five counties: Marquette, Schoolcraft, Luce, Chippewa and Mackinac.
  • Western Marquette County Health Foundation ($25,000): There is a significant population of youth with behavioral and related mental needs that adversely affects many groups of students. The need for social, emotional and behavioral support services for students is at an all-time high, yet very difficult to receive and cost prohibitive in many instances. The School-Based Applied Behavior Analysis Collaborative partners Northern Michigan University with four school districts in Western Marquette County to focus specifically on behavioral health needs of students within the school system. SHF provided matching funding of $25,000 to assure this much-needed project.

SHF also awarded funding to its first two Indigent Care Fund recipients. In the spring, SHF and the-then Medical Care Access Coalition (MCAC) signed an agreement in which $1.2 in MCAC funds were awarded to SHF. Beginning this spring, interest earnings from this investment will be awarded in the form of grants.   

  • Lake Superior Hospice ($5,000): Lake Superior Life Care & Hospice annually provides care to roughly 125 hospice patients, reaches approximately 25 adult day service participants plus their caregivers, and serves another 20-25 clients through its Transitions and Journey’s Program. SHF provided $5,000 in funding for the “Life Care for Those in Need” program, which covers costs for hospice clients, and their adult day service program.
  • Marquette County Health Department ($5,000): My Community Dental Centers (MCDC) is a non-profit dedicated to providing dental services to Medicaid enrollees and low-income, uninsured residents throughout the State of Michigan. Their mission is “to improve the lives of our patients and enhance community health by setting the highest standard of oral health care.” Providing dental care to Medicaid and low-income, uninsured patients can present a financial challenge for an organization due to low, or in some cases non-existent reimbursement for services provided to the patients. SHF awarded funding for the “Upper Peninsula Friendly Smile Fund,” which covers dental services provided to patients who receive a discounted rate, or do not pay at all.

In the area of substance use, the SHF provided large grants to six organizations, totaling more than $306,000 in grant funding to:

  • Marquette County Cares ($5,503): The Marquette County Health Department provides services to Marquette County and partners with agencies throughout the U.P., with the mission to “enrich the lives in our community by preventing disease, promoting healthy lifestyles, and protecting the environment.” The Craves Initiative addresses underlying risk factors to decrease early substance use for youth. The Craves Initiative seeks to increase access to books and introduction to a children’s author, to improve engagement in reading and decrease risk to approximately 2,104 youth grades 2nd-4th in Baraga, Marquette and Ontonagon counties during the 2018-19 school year. SHF provided funding for half of the project.
  • Healthy Youth Coalition of Marinette & Menominee Counties ($6,000): The Lock IT. Drop IT. Stop IT. Program is aimed to prevent prescription drug abuse by safely locking up prescription medications, properly disposing of them, and following prescription guidelines, while providing extra education about the importance of not sharing medications. They provide the lock boxes free of charge, magnets with local prescription drop site information, educational brochures, and prescription deactivation bags. SHF provided $6,000 in funding to continue the program.
  • Dickinson Area Community Foundation ($19,000): Community center programs will impact, inspire and motivate participants to have life satisfaction by making healthy lifestyle choices. The Our Place Community Center will provide services that meet the health needs of intergenerational participants, specifically targeting the underserved and higher risk populations. Creating a sense of belonging and providing children interactive play at the Imagination Factory Children’s Museum will empower both individuals and families to meet the challenges of addiction and mental health concerns. SHF agreed to provide funding for Phase Two of the project which includes a kick-off event, video and PSA, motivational speaker, student leadership event and plaques for contributor and volunteer recognition.
  • Great Lakes Recovery Centers ($44,000): Recovery housing offers individuals beginning their lives in recovery a safe place to live with other people who are reaching for the same goals. This type of housing will significantly impact the long-term treatment and sobriety of clients who have battled Substance Use Disorder. Recovery housing provides structure and support for those new to recovery, allowing time for the client to continue to heal from the impact of addiction. SHF provided funding for two-thirds of the Baraga County Recovery House.
  • Aspirus Ironwood Hospital & Clinics, Inc. ($107,000): The Western Upper Peninsula is experiencing a critical need for assisting patients on a local level with opiate use disorders. The lack of convenient access is a major deterrence to patients for the proper treatment of therapies. This funding will help Aspirus establish a coordinated medication-assisted treatment clinic with the mission of helping individuals stop their use of opioid medications and drugs in a safe and effective manner.
  • Northcare Network ($125,020.35): NorthCare Network is one of Michigan’s 10 Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans. They provide an array of services for individuals with serious mental illnesses, intellectual/developmental disabilities and substance use disorders. They intend to strengthen Substance Use Disorder prevention & treatment options un the U.P. by working with Dial Help and UP Coalition Network to bring stakeholders from law enforcement, health care, courts, government, social services and other sectors to identify gaps and develop strategic plans to fill them. SHF is provided funding for the second year of this two-year project.

Sheri Davie chairs the SHF Grants Committee and member of the SHF Board of Directors. She said the number and quality of the grant application for the fall cycle was “incredible.”

“We had no shortage of quality grant proposals to review. The committee feels very strongly that the projects we funded will play an immeasurable role in improving the lives of people all across the Upper Peninsula.

The SHF will accept applications for its Spring 2019 grants cycle in mid-December, with a deadline set for Jan. 15, 2019.

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.

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