A look back at the journey of the Vital Seniors Initiative—and where it’s heading next

December 20, 2021

Washtenaw County seniors are a rapidly growing population, expected to more than double by 2040. And many face everyday challenges—such as social isolation, food insecurity, and transportation.

In 2018, the Vital Seniors Initiative, managed by the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF) and funded by the Glacier Hills Legacy Fund, was developed to address these challenges.

Four local organizations received over $1 million in grants to advance their work to develop innovative, actionable solutions to the problems faced by seniors, their families, and their caregivers, and to enhance the services available to these populations. 

The Washtenaw Health Initiative (WHI) has supported these efforts from the start by positioning CHRT, it’s own backbone organization, to provide data and analysis to grantees, as well as facilitating their activities. However, over the last three years, CHRT’s role has pivoted to help grantees establish a collective to achieve long-term sustainability and greater impact.

In 2021, the initiative designed and launched Home Nutrition+, a pilot program responding to the food and social isolation needs of vulnerable community members during the pandemic. The success of this program led to additional grants to enhance its design and to develop new partnerships.

CHRT is now working with the Vital Seniors cohort to develop a Community Integrated Health Network and establish the necessary governance structure to contract with health plans to provide a range of health, mental health, and social supports.

For a full picture of the last three years and what’s in store for the future, read CHRT’s Vital Seniors impact report.

Read the report