The Michigan Health Improvement Alliance (MiHIA) has been awarded a  2019 Community Health Impact grant by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund (Health Fund) to address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and to catalyze efforts on building  communities of resilience across the region.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) refer to traumatic and extremely stressful events and their ongoing harmful effects on children’s physical growth and development. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ACEs have been linked to risky health behaviors, chronic health conditions, low life potential, and early death. Having a positive impact on the survivors can have a positive impact on chronic health conditions, improve maternal and infant health and lower substance use/abuse rates and suicide rates. Childhood experiences (both positive and negative) have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity. As the number of ACEs increases, so does the risk for these outcomes. In the United States, it’s estimated that almost half of children have experienced at least one ACE and 25%  have experienced two or more. The wide-ranging health and social consequences of ACEs underscore the importance of preventing them before they happen.

ACEs/trauma-informed objectives will enhance regional ACEs-trauma responsive strategies by focusing on: building awareness and connections; leveraging education and training; and spreading evidence-based and informed interventions.

MiHIA will stimulate the application of  trauma-informed approaches to enhance current and emerging initiatives aimed at addressing adversity, toxic stress and ACEs-related health risks. Building capacity across the 14-county region to serve approximately 760,000 residents across both rural and urban areas will build resilience by helping to connect families and communities, build safe and supportive environments, help children to flourish, and generally improve population health.

MiHIA, acting as the backbone organization will connect and synchronize diverse coalitions across the region with resources, professional development, and consultative support to accelerate and share approaches for preventing and addressing trauma and ACEs and promoting resilience. The initiative will facilitate a support structure that will engage stakeholders across the region to catalyze positive health outcomes for individual communities.

Community partners will also engage through the convening and development of a Steering Team comprised of  members from various sectors within the region: champions of healthcare, hospitals, K-12 schools, law enforcement, the faith-based community, and nonprofits.

Action items include:

  • Build a regional strategy map
  • Build a project management HUB via MiHIA’a Dashboard 4.0 Platform
  • Secure options for ACES content for ongoing professional continuing education for practicing professionals
  • Conduct two ACES summits in 2019 and 2020
  • Connect existing educational program opportunities for shared professional development and continuing educational collaborations
  • Provide five Michigan ACE Community Champion Training sessions in the Great Lakes Bay Region (GLBR)
  • Expand and implement a Call to Action speaker circuit initiative
  • Develop communications for raising awareness for the general public
  • Develop communications for raising awareness in the school districts (for parents and staff)
  • Convene a learning network for sharing information and collaboration opportunities
  • Implement qualitative data gathering and sensemaking processes
  • Provide stakeholder and funder input opportunities regarding ongoing projects
  • Create a project evaluation plan to ensure success and strategy
  • Continue to develop a diversified financing strategy to support trauma-informed service delivery

MiHIA is appreciates and recognizes the generous support of the Michigan Health Endowment fund to be able to implement this initiative.

To become a partner is this endeavor, please contact admin@ for more information.


Founded in 2007, MiHIA ia a formal multi-stakeholder collaboration which works to improve population health across fourteen counties in mid-central Michigan. In this capacity, MiHIA works to lead effective system change to improve the health and well-being through regional collaboration, evidence-based interventions, and careful study and planning for the future.