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Maternal & Child Health : People

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Fighting for Better Outcomes in Delray

Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition formed in response to plans for an international bridge development in the Delray neighborhood. Better park maintenance and a safer environment for local kids will help remedy the impact.

Laurie Strauss Baumer

Marrying her passion for volunteerism and being the creator of your own opportunity, Ele’s Place President and CEO Laurie Strauss Baumer shares how her organization uses relationships as pavers in the road to success. 

Alice Christensen

Alice Christensen, a nurse, has chaired the Michigan Breastfeeding Network as a volunteer since 2009. She recently wrote a grant proposal and was awarded a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to transition the network from an all-volunteer organization into a more structured and formalized nonprofit.

Chris Shea

Cherry Street Health Services has a CEO with a strong desire to educate people who live in poverty. Chris Shea believes in equity – that every child of every economic level should have the same opportunities to learn and that they should be offered improved access to health care as they grow into healthy, successful adults.

Joseph Ferguson

Joseph Ferguson came to the world of federally qualified health centers from a career in the for-profit hospital field. His philosophy has always been that a great deal of leadership is about serving, and his role at Advantage Health Centers allows him to do that in a very efficient way. 

Rebekah Fennell

Rebekah Fennell serves as the executive director of First Steps Kent, a public/private partnership working to improve the lives of children and prepare them for Kindergarten. Fennell brings a collaborative spirit to community work, with an eye on strengthening early childhood services for all families.  
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Michigan Nightlight relaunches: Here's where to find us across Michigan

GreenFist Project at Sprout Urban Farms

How Motivated Kids and Better Food Access Fit Together

Stuart Ray, Mindy Ysasi, Mike Kerkorian, Ellen Carpenter from Grand Rapids' Nonprofits

Jumping Ship: Former Corporate Leaders Tell All

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Bright Ideas


Can systemic racism impact infant mortality?

Even when controlling for poverty, education level, and tobacco use of a mother, maternal and infant health outcomes are far worse for minority populations than European-American women. What's causing the continued disparities? And what can West Michigan do to ensure all babies born here have the best chance of reaching their potential? Zinta Aistars reports on Strong Beginnings, one local program working to give all families a fair start.

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Company Supports 4th Grade Field Trips to Lake Michigan

Parents working more than one job or odd hours, a lack of funds, and no transportation often prevent kids from experiencing one of Michigan’s incredible natural resources. For the majority of west side Grand Rapids elementary school kids, Lake Michigan is sadly out of reach. OST has teamed up with Grand Rapids Public Schools to give fourth-graders at west side schools the opportunity to experience the big lake firsthand.


Youth Decide Where Grant Dollars are Spent

For Grand Rapids students who serve as trustees-in-training on the GRCF Youth Grant Committee, giving back to the community goes hand in hand with empowering students to succeed. 
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