Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Announces New Staff Hires in 2023
Foundation adds Gary Stark, Sarah Truax, Sheila O’Hara, Faye Radcliffe, and Danielle Wilder- Hamilton to the staff; and promotes Nena Taormino
Detroit, MI – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation today announced the addition of five new staff members in 2023. The new hires and positions include Gary Stark, director of grant operations; Sarah Truax, learning associate; Faye Radcliffe, program executive assistant; Danielle Wilder-Hamilton, executive assistant; and Sheila O’Hara, office manager. These new hires bring the Foundation’s full-time staff total to 27 employees. The Foundation also announced the promotion of Nena Taormino from grants management & operations assistant to the role of grants management associate.Download
Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and the Michigan Health Endowment Fund Make $3.7 Million Investment to Bring Exhale – the Family Caregiver Initiative to Southeast Michigan
Interested Exhale participants can now register for December and January program launch events
Detroit, MI, November 13, 2023 – Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and the Michigan Health Endowment Fund announced today a $3.7 million commitment to expand Exhale – the Family Caregiver Initiative in Southeast Michigan.
Exhale funds and supports innovative, collaborative projects that are reimagining respite and increasing respite opportunities for family caregivers of older adults. The program has operated since 2019, primarily working with organizations and businesses in New York state, and will now make grants, totaling $3.7 million, to organizations, communities, and businesses located in Wayne, Monroe, St. Clair, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, and Washtenaw counties. The decision to launch the program widely in Southeast Michigan is on the heels of Exhale’s most recent cohort, which includes three grantees in Washtenaw County: Chelsea Senior Center, The Regents of the University of Michigan, and Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels.
“Exhale’s growth over the past four years has been tremendous, thanks in large part to the organizations that are coming together to reimagine respite through strategic partnerships and creative ideas,” said Amber Slichta, vice president and programs and learning, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “Project teams, including those in Washtenaw County, are helping to improve family caregivers’ well-being, which can lead to better health and lower costs of care.”
For example, Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels provides in-home caregiver respite, chore support, home modifications, and clinical occupational therapy (for older adult care recipients); The Regents of the University of Michigan started the Washtenaw Support Network for Caregivers, which provides a variety of respite opportunities, including in-home care, day care, educational programs, outings, care consultations, and more; and Chelsea Senior Center hosts Ease the Day, an onsite social model of respite, which includes meaningful and purposeful physical, cognitive, and social engagement, in Chelsea – a town with more than 30% of its residents over the age of 65.
A 2021 scan of family and informal caregiver suports conducted by the University of Michigan’s Center for Health and Research Transformation estimated that Michigan is home to more than 1.7 million family caregivers, with 44% residing in Southeast Michigan.
“When caregivers are asked about the help they need most, they consistently rank respite among their top priorities. Increasing opportunities for caregivers to take a break will improve their quality of life,” said Neel Hajra, chief executive officer, Michigan Health Endowment Fund. “That’s why we’re excited to join with the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to launch the Exhale initiative in Southeast Michigan to help organizations in the region expand and strengthen the network of respite supports.”
Exhale is an opportunity for organizations, communities, and businesses of all sizes to work together to create innovative, community-based solutions that provide caregivers with an opportunity to breathe a little easier. Through a short series of workshops, organizations based in eligible Southeast Michigan counties and interested in developing caregiver respite projects and increasing access to respite services will receive free training in creative problem solving, the opportunity to connect with other organizations, and support throughout the grant application process. Each organization will receive a $500 stipend for workshop participation. Upon completing the workshop series, participants will be eligible to apply for Exhale funding. The workshop series begins January 25, 2024.
Exhale is hosting two virtual information sessions to kick off its 2024 Southeast Michigan program. These sessions will provide attendees with an overview of the Exhale program; information about the grant application process, including eligibility requirements; and the opportunity to hear from current Exhale grantees. They will be held on Tuesday, December 12 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. EST and Monday, January 8 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. EST.
The opportunity to expand Exhale throughout Southeast Michigan is made possible by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, with additional outreach support provided by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Exhale is managed by The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI) with support from Teresa Lawrence, president, International Deliverables. Exhale was first established in the Southern Tier region of New York in 2019, and since has expanded across the nine counties of Western New York, and Washtenaw County, Michigan through the generous support of Ralph C. Wilson Foundation, the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, and the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. To date, 90 partner organizations have created 16 successful caregiver respite projects in New York and Michigan. Read more about them at ExhaleforCaregivers.org.
Registration is now open for the workshop series, the December 12 information session, and the January 8 information session. Learn more about Exhale at ExhaleForCaregivers.org or contact Lisa Simon at LSimon@tpi.org.
Exhale – the Family Caregiver Initiative, funds innovative collaborative projects that are reimagining respite and increasing respite opportunities for family caregivers of older adults. Respite, a period of rest or relief, can play a key role in reinforcing caregiver well-being and effectiveness, leading to better health, social-emotional outcomes, and lower costs of care for family caregivers and older adults they care for. Read more about Exhale at ExhaleForCaregivers.org.
About Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue his life-long generosity of spirit by funding the Foundation that bears his name. Based in Detroit, the Foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. This structure is consistent with Mr. Wilson’s desire for the Foundation’s impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable and overseen by those who knew him best. For more information visit www.rcwjrf.org.
About the Michigan Health Endowment Fund
The Michigan Health Endowment Fund works to improve the health and wellness of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of healthcare, with a special focus on children and older adults. For more information about the Health Fund and its grantmaking, visit www.mihealthfund.org.
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Announces Addition of Buffalo-based Elizabeth Woike-Ganga to Board of Trustees
Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Announces New Staff Hires in 2022
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation today announced the addition of five new staff members in 2022. The new hires include two new program associates: Connie Kuo and Kate Partington; a communications associate: Mercedes Pergande; a senior learning officer: Liz Gordillo; and a grants management & operations assistant: Nena Taormino. These new hires bring the Foundation’s full-time staff total to 24 employees. The Foundation […]Download
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Announces New Program Committee Members
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation today announced the appointment of Monique Wells and Dr. Thomasina R. Stenhouse as non-trustee members of the Foundation’s Program Committee. The committee, currently comprised of the Foundation’s three life trustees and three at-large trustees, reviews grant requests and provides strategic direction for the Foundation’s programmatic investments prior to final board […]Download
Request for Qualifications: Summative Evaluation of Parks, Trails & Green Design (PTGD) Focus Area
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation seeks to contract a firm or team of evaluators to conduct a summative evaluation of the Foundation’s Parks, Trails, and Green Design (PTGD) focus area. The objectives of the evaluation are 1) to document the grantmaking and non-grantmaking processes to date and analyze the associated outcomes of those efforts; and 2) to develop an evaluation plan to continue monitoring the progress of PTGD initiatives, including identifying metrics to measure outcomes…Download
Exhale, the Family Caregiver Initiative, Announces 12 New Grantees for 2022 Program Spanning Local Western New York Counties and Washtenaw County, MI
The program will bring together teams of local organizations to create respite opportunities for family caregivers of older adults
BUFFALO, NY, September 6, 2022 – Exhale, the Family Caregiver Initiative, which funds innovative collaborative projects that are reimagining and increasing respite opportunities for family caregivers of older adults, announced today that 12 new grantees have been selected to kick-off its 2022 program. The grantees include Western New York’s Catholic Health Continuing Care Foundation, YMCA Buffalo Niagara, Cradle Beach, Inc., Healthy Alternatives Through Healings Arts (HAHA), Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers, American Cancer Society, St. John’s Home Foundation, Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Inc., United Way of Orleans County along with Regents of the University of Michigan – Silver Club, Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels and Chelsea Senior Center, which are based in Washtenaw County, MI.Download
Ralph Wilson Park Conservancy, City of Buffalo, and Partners Break Ground on Future Ralph Wilson Park on Buffalo’s Waterfront
$110 million of collaborative investment to fulfill community’s vision to transform the former LaSalle Park into a one-of-a-kind, world-class park serving all .
Phase I Construction includes a signature pedestrian bridge for improved access, ball field improvements and shoreline rehabilitation of the inlet area.Download
Buffalo Together Community Response Fund Announces Efforts to Address Community Need after Jefferson Avenue Tragedy
The Buffalo Together Community Response Fund, established in the wake of the horrific racially-motivated mass shooting at the Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue earlier this month, will begin to distribute initial support to 70 Black-led organizations that have a meaningful and long-term presence in the community, and that are working on the front lines to address urgent community need in the aftermath of the tragedy. Approximately $560,000 in grants ranging from $5,000 – $20,000 will begin to be distributed in the coming days.Download
Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and Partners Break Ground on Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park – Transformational 22-Acre Park on West Riverfront Designed for All
- Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park will dramatically transform the Detroit Riverfront into one of the most beautiful public spaces in the country and is a major step forward in the Conservancy’s goal of developing 5.5 miles of revitalized riverfront
- Detroit Riverfront Conservancy receives $7 million in new support for Ralph Wilson Park; DTE Energy Foundation announces $2.5 million gift