MDHHS issues RFP to improve senior physical and mental wellness


Patrick Jones


The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) last week for the Senior Center Wellness Program in fiscal year (FY) 2022. The funding for this RFP comes from the Michigan Legislature, which allocated $150,000 to MDHHS for wellness programs in senior centers. 

MDHHS says this program will focus on mental health, physical health support and improvement, social engagement, and overall well being of elderly in multipurpose senior citizen centers in Michigan. 


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This RFP is targeted specifically toward community facilities providing a wide array of services for seniors and not private housing facilities with senior activity programs. 

The award period begins on Feb. 1, 2022 and ends on Sep. 30, 2022. MDHHS intends to use these funds to support roughly 30 total projects in the state. Applicants can send more than one application, but cannot be granted more than $5,000 per applicant for a program area. This leaves an opportunity for organizations to receive over $5,000 in different program areas. 

MDHHS is expecting organizations who support senior wellness programs and social interaction in their facilities. This funding could be used as continuations of current programs or additions of new programs. 

Kayla Smith, health promotion and wellness coordinator at MDHHS, says:

“It is meant to support the centers by providing additional means for them to expand their health and wellness program offerings.”

Some of the criterias to receive this grant include an intentional focus on the “mental and physical health maintenance and improvement for senior participants”, says Smith. 

Smith says the proposed work must also fall within one of the following areas: physical activity, chronic illness and self-management, social isolation, fall prevention, depression, nutrition, caregiver education and burnout prevention, COVID-19 education, and medication management.  

“We would like for them to be supporting this with different [work on improved] outcomes in physical health, mental health, and — in general — also want them to be able to help increase the knowledge and capacity to use alternative and virtual platforms to facilitate engagement within these programs.”

Smith says MDHHS will be prioritizing applications that show incorporation of evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention programs. 

Smith says COVID-19 took a toll on the social isolation of senior citizens. Knowing this, MDHHS is focusing on programs that aid in decreasing loneliness and social isolation by “facilitating increased opportunities for social engagement,” says Smith. 

Grant applications must be submitted electronically by Nov. 30 at 3pm through the EGrAMS program. The complete RFP can be found on their website.