United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC) Foundation Receives Grant Supporting Behavioral Health at Huron Valley PACE

Flinn Foundation Awards $200,000 to Enhance Mental Healthcare for Low-Income Older Adults 

Chelsea, MI, October 2, 2019 – The UMRC Foundation is pleased to announce that it has received a two-year grant of $200,000 from the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation.  This gift will support integrated and enhanced behavioral healthcare for participants of UMRC’s Huron Valley PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) in Ypsilanti, Michigan.   

Huron Valley PACE serves low-income older adults in five southeastern Michigan counties, ages 55 and over, who are eligible for nursing home care.  Thanks to PACE services, these individuals can live safely and independently in their homes and communities.  Since opening in 2014, Huron Valley PACE has served over 400 area older adults.

Over 70% of Huron Valley PACE participants have at least one mental health diagnosis, according to Huron Valley PACE Executive Director, Sonja Love Felton, LMSW, MPA. 

“Mental and physical health are closely intertwined, especially in older adults who may be less likely to access the mental health care they need,” Felton explains.  “Many of our participants are isolated or have multiple chronic health conditions.  Add to that the critical shortage of geriatric psychiatry specialists in our state, and it makes it especially challenging to provide the best possible integrated care.  We are delighted that this grant from the Flinn Foundation will support our partnership with St. Joseph Mercy Hospital – Ann Arbor to integrate behavioral health within the PACE model of primary care.” 

“Michigan is the fastest aging state in the U.S. and with this growing population comes a rise in mental health challenges as well,” says Wendy Brightman, President of UMRC Foundation and Porter Hills Foundation.  “We are grateful to the Flinn Foundation for its commitment to improving mental health services and awareness in southeast Michigan and for its support of our mission to help older adults live at the highest level of ‘wellness, dignity and independence.’”  

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Building on a foundation of 113 years of service, United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC) is a faith-based, nonprofit organization that promotes the wellness, dignity and independence of older adults, by providing high quality, innovative and compassionate senior residential and supportive services. UMRC recently affiliated, under shared governance and leadership, with Porter Hills, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Together, these organizations represent the second largest nonprofit senior living organization in Michigan.  With a tradition of exceptional quality and a commitment to cutting-edge care, these faith-based organizations and their affiliates combine to serve more than 6,700 older adults each year, from 24 locations and service lines, across 22 counties in Michigan’s lower peninsula. umrc.com|734.433.1000

The UMRC Foundation is the charitable arm for United Methodist Retirement Communities, with headquarters in Chelsea, Michigan.  Since its inception in 1998, the UMRC Foundation has provided over $16,000,000 through its Benevolent Care Fund to help UMRC residents remain in their homes when they outlive their resources.  The mission of the UMRC Foundation is to promote the wellness, dignity, and independence of seniors by supporting UMRC residents, staff, and the communities UMRC serves.  umrcfoundation.com|734.433.1000

The mission of Huron Valley PACE is to enhance the lives and independence of our participants by providing state-of-the-art geriatric health and community-based services.  Its vision is to serve as a local, regional and national resource in the provision of state-of-the-art geriatric health and community-based services that recognize the dignity, independence and quality of life for older adults wishing to remain in their homes.  huronvalleypace.org|734.572.5777 

The Ethel and James Flinn Foundation is committed to improving the quality, scope and delivery of mental health services in Michigan. flinnfoundation.org|313.309.3436