Ludwig Community Benefit Award Honors Hospital Programs

Posted on June 28, 2019

The MHA presented its 2019 Ludwig Community Benefit Award to programs of three member hospitals during the MHA Annual Membership meeting June 27. The honorees include programs led by Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo; Mackinac Straits Health System, St. Ignace; and St. Mary Mercy Livonia. The award is named in memory of Patric E. Ludwig, a former MHA president who championed investing in the community’s overall health, and is presented to member organizations integrally involved in collaborative programs to improve the health and well-being of area residents. Each winner will receive $5,000 from the MHA Health Foundation to assist in its health improvement efforts.

Members from Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo, were presented with the 2019 Ludwig Community Benefit Award.In 2016, Bronson Methodist Hospital launched Frequent User System Engagement (FUSE) 2.0 to assist frequent users of the hospital’s emergency department (ED) who are also homeless.

The hospital connects participants with a Bronson Family Medicine physician and a Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services care coordinator. As primary care provider, the physician works with the FUSE team to develop a successful plan of care. The care coordinator links participants with housing through the Kalamazoo Housing Commission and coordinates support for attending medical appointments; meeting social needs; dispensing medications; providing peer support and recovery and life skills coaching; and addressing substance abuse and mental health needs.

Participants are assessed on individual progress and on healthcare utilization and costs. From 2016 to 2018, the program served 11 homeless individuals whose ED visits decreased by approximately 60% from the previous 18 months. Medical care costs decreased by about 20% every six months.

This program demonstrates that housing reduces inappropriate ED use and, in conjunction with support services, housing is necessary to stabilize homeless patients with chronic conditions.

For more information about the FUSE program, contact Terry Morrow, vice president of development, Bronson Healthcare, at (269) 341-8100.

Members from Mackinac Straits Health System, St. Ignace, were presented with the 2019 Ludwig Community Benefit Award.More than a decade ago, Mackinac Straits Health System (MSHS) noted the increasing out-of-pocket costs borne by cancer patients in Mackinac and Cheboygan counties. MSHS provides oncology services and infusion treatment, but patients must travel long distances for specialized cancer services. Many area residents live below the poverty level, making “incidental costs” of cancer treatment especially unaffordable.

To assist, MSHS created the No Cancer Patient Left Behind Fund, with the Hooping for a Cure event as its main source of income. The hospital approached local schools and businesses to suggest an annual basketball game to raise funds. The resulting event has secured dozens of sponsorships from local businesses and packed a gymnasium every year, in addition to raising more than $180,000 since its inception.

The No Cancer Patient Left Behind Fund provides patients who must travel for further treatment with gift cards for gas, hotel rooms and meals. It also furnishes patient care items in the MSHS oncology clinic, such as blankets and snacks. While raising funds, Hooping for a Cure engages community members, raises awareness of cancer, and honors those touched by the disease.

For more information about Hooping for a Cure, contact Mike Grisdale, marketing/foundation director, MSHS, at (906) 643-0443.

Michaeline Raczka, RD, Director of Community Health, St. Mary Mercy Livonia, and David Spivey, President and CEO, St. Mary Mercy Livonia, were presented with the 2019 Ludwig Community Benefit Award.Healthy Livonia, led by St. Mary Mercy Livonia, is a collaboration that brings together community partners committed to making Livonia a healthier place by leveraging resources to create a greater impact, effectively transforming the health of the local community.

Launched July 2016, Healthy Livonia is backed by the hospital, the Livonia Parks and Recreation Department, Livonia Public Schools, the Livonia Chamber of Commerce and the city of Livonia.

With a special emphasis on infrastructure, parks and children and seniors, key target areas for Healthy Livonia include reducing obesity, addressing behavioral health issues, and focusing on engaging Livonia residents to take command of their health by making healthy choices when it comes to food and exercise.

St. Mary Mercy Livonia has been a leading supporter of the Healthy Livonia initiative and has committed initial funding of $200,000 per year over five years.

Healthy Livonia’s accomplishments include launching an accessible play space at Rotary Park, installing a pedestrian bridge at Tatigian Park and Nature Preserve, implementing the Carrot Wellness walking program app, and sponsoring community activities such as a 5K walk/run, Kirksey Recreation Center memberships and a 100 Days to Health program.

For more information about Healthy Livonia, contact Healthy Livonia's program coordinator at (734) 655-8421.

To learn more about the MHA’s annual Ludwig Community Benefit Award, contact Erin Steward at the MHA.


  • Ludwig Community Benefit Award Honors Hospital Programs

Tags: Ludwig Community Benefit Award, annual meeting, Bronson Methodist Hospital, Mackinac Straits Health System, St. Mary Mercy Livonia

Posted in: News Releases, Member News

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