MiHIA provides impact through beneficial prevention and informational programs.

Community Outcomes: Health and Economic Impact for All

Vibrant communities are composed of healthy, productive residents who are essential for a robust economy. Our THRIVE framework focuses on a balanced portfolio of evidence-based interventions that bring partners together to deliver improved population health and long-term system change. 

This work focuses on five strategic priorities

  • Building provider capacity
  • Increasing access to preventative care; focus on mental health and well-being
  • Investing in social determinants of health
  • Creating jobs
  • Developing a regional attractiveness engine to attract residents, employees and businesses 

Impact highlights


Develop a regional health education hub

A shortage of healthcare providers is severely impacting our country, state and region. A regional health education hub inclusive of all health systems and universities, including Central Michigan Universitys’ Medical Education Partners and the CMU College of Medicine, will leverage the collective knowledge in the region to deliver efficient care, foster a shared learning environment, provide for basic public health needs and build a pipeline to address the healthcare provider shortages. 

Through education and interdisciplinary research, along with a commitment to a holistic approach to patient care, a regional health education hub will be a catalyst for transformational change and a model for quality healthcare delivery, enhancing our regional training programs and overall population health. Two comprehensive population health education modules have been completed and are ready for use. Current discussions are underway to design a path forward.


A health education hub will help to address the overall healthcare provider shortage by:

  • Streamlining components of a baseline education among health disciplines.
  • Building on current education and healthcare development efforts.
  • Extending provider capacity into aspects such as research, prevention and overall improved care delivery.

Investment Profile: Funding for this effort would come from multiple funding streams, sources and stakeholders in the region.


Prenatal, Infant and Maternal Health


Driven by the nurse-to-family relationship model, THRIVE focuses on addressing gaps and needs in our communities for health inequities, prenatal substance use, early intervention through screening and referral and adequate prenatal care.


  • To date, 324 mothers and babies have completed the CenteringPregnancy Program, a national peer-focused model with CMU Health and Covenant HealthCare.
  • The core focus of this program is on low-income mothers and families, of which 48 percent are Black, 39 percent are Caucasian and 13 percent are other ethnicities.
  • The program has had tremendous results, with increased breastfeeding rates, a reduction in tobacco usage, a reduction in NICU stays, a reduction in deliveries via C-section, and higher reported rates of postpartum depression (patients encouraged to report and seek help).

Investment Profile: This work is funded by a combination of grants and community sponsorships involving many partners.


Count the Kicks

Count the Kicks is an evidence-based stillbirth prevention public health campaign focused on educating and empowering expectant parents about the importance of tracking fetal movement in the third trimester of pregnancy. THRIVE is launching this effort throughout the region in May 2022 and this will be the first Count the Kicks program in the state of Michigan.


Nationally, 23,500 babies are born still each year and Michigan’s average is 622 stillbirths annually.

Research has shown that parents who utilize the Count the Kicks app experience a 32 percent reduction in stillbirths. In addition to reducing stillbirths, 84 percent of app users who count daily report that this method helped with bonding during pregnancy and 77 percent reported that this method helps reduce anxiety.

Investment Profile: This work is funded in partnership with Covenant HealthCare.

Reduce Mental Health Gaps for Stigma, Information Access and Quality of Care

An extensive amount of work has been done by the Great Lakes Bay Region Mental Health Partnership to support mental health in the region. This includes addressing gaps to access, care, information and stigma across a number of efforts covering: workplace mental health; mental health provider community and well-being; an anti-stigma campaign; and suicide prevention efforts.


  • The region gained 164 mental health providers from 2018 to 2020 to address provider shortage, with gains seen across four counties and all provider types.
  • A workplace provider pilot was done covering 700 local workers and their families, with the model now being rolled out throughout the region.
  • The iMatter Anti-Stigma Campaign launched in October of 2021, gaining more than 50,000 impressions in the first two months. Mental health resources are now available to support mental health provider wellness on mihopeportal.com.

Investment Profile: The Great Lakes Bay Region Mental Health Partnership is funded and supported by many regional, state and national partners, including industry and nonprofits, as well as through philanthropic giving.


Regional Opioid Strategy

Michigan ranks 12th in the nation for opioid overdose deaths and opioid use impacts all genders, age groups and socio-economic statuses. Through THRIVE, a coordinated approach to treatment is being developed, utilizing the existing regional strategy map of services, interventions, initiatives and actions.


  • Development of an Overdose Quick Response Team, which served 280 people in 2021; 25+ providers trained in Medication Assisted Treatment.
  • Alternative Pain Management program piloted by 260 people at Great Lakes Bay Health Centers (FQHC serving over 70,000 people); development of a regional non-opioid, non-pharmaceutical pain therapy service providers directory.
  • Regional partners created a strategy map, cataloged current activities and coordinated clinical and alternative pain management practices.

Investment Profile: The Overdose Quick Response Team is supported by a grant with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the Michigan Overdose Data to Action Team. The Michigan State Medical Society sponsors the non-opioid, non-pharmaceutical directory.

Access and Quality of Food

Food as Medicine with DayTwo

This effort uses food as medicine by way of microbiome analytics through a partnership with the San Francisco-based company DayTwo. 


  • An initial pilot included Covenant HealthCare, the Morley Foundation, Ascension St. Mary’s, MyMichigan Health and Central Michigan University.
  • More than 110 participants participated in the regional pilot in Michigan and had a 78 percent reduction or elimination of medications. Savings from the reduction of medication for per 100 enrolled is estimated to be $430,000/annually.
  • A Medicaid pilot also is underway and the model can be expanded to include other organizations and groups in the future.

Investment Profile: A no-cost pilot was provided to all participants as part of DayTwo’s launch efforts and organizations could then opt in for additional rounds of coverage and analysis beyond the initial pilot efforts.

Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)

This initiative covers 176 people who are registered for a Virtual Diabetes Prevention Program through Canary Health. THRIVE collaborated with 17 partner organizations who helped refer individuals for the pilot, which involved adopting and maintaining healthy lifestyles by eating healthier, increasing physical activity, and losing a modest amount of weight.


  • The average retention rate through the major milestones of the program was 62 percent; overall retention rate of 43 percent. 
  • Participants experienced an average weight loss of five pounds with an average decrease in their Body Mass Index (BMI) of 1.1.

Investment Profile: This work is funded through support from both the Health and Well-being Fund and a grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Addressing Financial Stability

VITA Tax Training and Preparation

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) grant program is an Internal Revenue Service initiative designed to support free tax preparation service for the underserved through various partner organizations. This service helps low- to moderate- income individuals, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and limited English speakers file their taxes each year.

Impact: A VITA two-day training course was held for approximately 50 people from Bay, Saginaw and Midland Counties. These newly certified VITA tax professionals will now complete tax preparation for and provide financial support to several low-income community members each year.

Investment Profile: More than 20 different organizations are engaged in this work through multiple funding streams. 

Local Initiatives Support Corporation

MiHIA is collaborating with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), one of the largest Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) in the country, and has recently signed a three-year agreement to provide one-time funding to support the work of a LISC employee to be embedded in the region and work directly with local organizations.

Impact: As a result of this agreement, LISC will invest at least $3 million and collaborate with THRIVE to find other investors for projects within the region. To date, THRIVE has submitted American Rescue Plan Act proposals to both the city of Saginaw and Saginaw County on behalf of LISC to fund two programs for home repair and to fund Financial Opportunity Centers.

Investment Profile: Funding for this effort would come from multiple funding steams, sources and stakeholders in the region.

Bitwise Industries

Discussions are underway to introduce the city of Saginaw to the Bitwise ecosystem, including workforce development programs, enterprise tech consulting and real estate. The Bitwise model creates an ecosystem that is an economic driver within cities and increases retention of talent to the area.

Impact: THRIVE has engaged 50+ stakeholders in ongoing discussions with Bitwise Industries. If selected, Bitwise would bring the knowledge and capacity to train low income and at-risk populations with in-demand technical skills.

Investment Profile: Funding for this effort would come from multiple funding steams, sources and stakeholders in the region.


Attract New Industries/Markets + Build Stronger Foundations to Support Businesses

Cultivating, attracting and developing industry and entrepreneurship in the Great Lakes Bay Region is essential for growth. The Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance, along with all economic development organizations and chambers of commerce, work to actively promotes regional assets, such as available properties for development, access to farmland, transportation, affordable fresh water, proximity to major metro areas like Detroit, Chicago and Toronto, a dynamic quality of life, and the region’s favorable tax structure. These efforts are designed to attract new industries and markets for setup, relocation or growth within the region and to reverse the out-migration of our population, particularly among young workers.


  • Site visits, economic development conferences and work with national and international site selectors has resumed with lessened COVID-19 travel restrictions.
  • The GLBRA and all economic development partners in the region maintain regular contact and coordinated and complementary travel schedules around events that support development and advancement in the Great Lakes Bay Region.
  • Multiple RFPs are in the development and more information will be available when and if agreements progress toward fruition.

Investment Profile: A number of regional partners work in this space, including the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance, all of the chambers of commerce and economic development corporations throughout the region, and talent development organizations such as Michigan Works!. Their collective efforts are significant and represent millions of dollars annually in support of bettering the region.

Address Education Challenges and Prepare Youth for STEM Careers

The Great Lakes Bay Region STEM Ecosystem is home to one of 100 STEM Ecosystems around the globe. With more than 500 local partners, the effort spans broadly to a robust employer talent pipeline, an out-of-school time network and dynamic career and college readiness programs. Read more about the Great Lakes Bay STEM Ecosystem.


  • The Great Lakes Bay STEM Ecosystem has made extensive strides in building the future workforce including:
  • 174 students from 30 schools participated in a Chief Science Officer Leadership training program and impacted more than 70,000 students by implementing action plan activities in their home districts through 2021.
  • Over 70,000 students have gained access to experience out-of-school time STEM activities through the Great Lakes Bay Region STEM Passport, which is now in its fourth generation as an app.
  • Over 8,000 students had interactions with 90 employers, and over 170 career opportunities at the inaugural Middle Michigan MiCareerQuest event held at Saginaw Valley State University.

Investment Profile: The Great Lakes Bay Region STEM Ecosystem is funded and supported by more than 500 partners, including industry and nonprofits, as well as through philanthropic giving.

Address Child Care Constraints as a Barrier to Workforce Participation

THRIVE is serving as a fiscal agent in the creation of a pilot program for addressing the child care shortage crisis in our region. This program is another example of our work with Community Development Financial Institutions to leverage federal funds coming to our communities and how they can be used to address structural barriers to getting people active in the workforce.


  • As part of this effort, THRIVE was just designated by the Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC) as a participant in its Promising Ideas Incubator to catalyze ideas about child care solutions in Michigan.
  • The Early Childhood Investment Corporation launched a Child Care Innovation Fund and participation in this incubator demonstrates we (along with several partners) are collectively serving as a catalyst and conduit for transformational change.

Investment Profile: This work is funded by a combination of American Rescue Plan Act funding that will be stacked with impact investments and potentially philanthropic dollars.


Patient Safety

Medication Safety

Older adults generally have the greatest use of medications and often suffer from adverse consequences due to the use of multiple medications, changes in body physiology and long-term use. By changing prescribing and monitoring practices, the potential exists to protect thousands of older people in our region.


  • Engaged 20+ regional organizations, including five health systems, the Michigan State Medical Society and Michigan Pharmacy Association to develop patient forums and an online resource center and to advocate for involvement of pharmacists on patient care teams.
  • Direct benefit for 152,034 individuals aged 65+, of whom 66,833 (44%) have documented polypharmacy and 39,159 (26%) are currently taking high-risk medications. People of all ages will benefit from the system changes made in medication safety.
  • With the help of the major hospital systems in the Great Lakes Bay Region, THRIVE began reporting annual patient safety data in 2021 (2019 data), with a target of achieving Zero Harm by 2025.

Investment Profile: This work began in 2020 with a planning grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. The current phase includes an additional round of implementation grant funding to provide education materials for patients, families and caregivers; advocating for the role of pharmacists in the patient’s primary care team; and forming outreach and partnerships with several local senior networks and organizations among other efforts.

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