$67,420 award will support United Way’s work to create and grow a network of partners who prioritize and elevate the voice of the community in solving local challenges and creating impact in Southwest Michigan .

United Way of Southwest Michigan is one of 57 grant recipients across the state who have been selected by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to participate in the 2022 Community Health Impact Grant Project focused on empowering organizations community health organizations to build impactful collaborations, build capacity, and address critical community health challenges.

Heather Cole, Director of Advocacy and Public Innovation at United Way, will oversee the project. “We are very grateful to the Health Fund for supporting this project. This award will help create more leaders and develop a network of people and organizations who focus their work on serving the aspirations of the community,” she said.

The fund’s Community Health Impact program supports health-focused community organizations with bold ideas to address health challenges. The bold idea of ​​United Way of Southwest Michigan is to “create a network of outward-looking organizations.”


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Turning Outward is a step-by-step process developed by the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, an organization that works to stimulate community-led change. “Looking outward” involves taking steps to better understand communities, changing processes and thinking to make conversations more community-focused, being proactive about community issues, and giving priority to the aspirations of the community. United Way of Southwest Michigan is committed to creating an “outward-looking” network in our community.

Through UWSM’s partnership with the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, this grant will provide training, resources, and support to United Way and its partners over the next two years.

“United Way has worked with Rich Harwood and the Harwood Institute for several years now. Rich is an amazing leader and is dedicated to transforming communities and developing caring, skilled leaders who can help people unlock their potential to create better lives for their families and neighbors,” said Anna Murphy, President and CEO. from the management of United Way of Southwest Michigan.

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