The only thing worse than a problem nobody wants to solve? Everybody trying to solve the same problem … and not working together to do it. We help organizations layer their efforts, expertise and resources together with those of others. This not only gives us stronger organizations that accomplish more; it creates shared effort and investment that strengthens the commitment of all.

MIDMICHIGAN HEALTH

MidMichigan Health received a $1.5 million donation from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation in June 2013 to establish a new patient simulation lab at MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland and to renovate the lab at MMMC-Gratiot. These labs plan to create alliances within the community to create opportunities for other clinical staff to learn on the equipment. Infant- and adult-sized manikins in the Simulation Lab can be programmed by staff to cry, talk, blink, breathe and react to medicines to replicate real-life situations, allowing for training on specific procedures such as IV insertion, chest tube insertion and airway management.

MMMC-Midland will be opening their new medical education building that will house Midland's Simulation Lab in 2015. Physician and nursing students will have the opportunity to learn new skills in a low-stress and risk-free environment. The Simulation Lab offers another way for students to have a positive training experience, learn critical thinking skills, develop positive relationships and build allegiance with MidMichigan Health. New medical personnel tend to return to a familiar community to practice medicine, sustaining MidMichigan Health's services with skilled and compassionate staff now as well as for the future.

COUNCIL OF MICHIGAN FOUNDATIONS

MICHIGAN COUNCIL FOR EDUCATOR EFFECTIVENESS

In an effort to aid public school teachers and administrators, the Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness (MCEE) worked for 18 months to develop recommendations for a statewide evaluation system which would provide substantive feedback. This feedback is meant to assist both teachers and administrators in building their skills and, ultimately, improve student learning. The Council's recommendations base educator evaluations on professional practice, which is determined primarily by observations of how educators do their work, and also by student growth, determined by state assessments and other measures.

The Council of Michigan Foundations provided technical support to the MCEE, using funding from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation: $225,000 was awarded along with $18,600 for operating expenses. This funding allowed the Council to educate stakeholders statewide through an informational website, webinars, newspaper editorial board visits and informational materials.

As a result, support for the evaluation system has come from Governor Rick Snyder, who put funding for the new evaluation system costs in his 2015 fiscal year budget, as well as from Michigan teacher unions and school administrator organizations. After months of committee hearings on the matter, the Michigan House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation to enact the evaluation system.

MIDLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE PRIMARY YEARS PROGRAMME (IB PYP)

The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation granted Midland Public Schools (MPS) $570,000 in 2013 to begin the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP), maintaining a rich history of being responsive and supportive to the need for excellent early childhood education. Much of the expense associated with implementing this IB PYP curricular framework is incurred at the outset with application fees, official IB training and the hiring of PYP Coordinators to lead this initiative. This partnership among The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, The Dow Chemical Company, the Rollin M. Gerstacker and the Charles J. Strosacker Foundations, has allowed MPS to begin this implementation process.

Carrying out the introduction of this program has required the hard work of MPS staff as they approach teaching and learning through a different lens and frame their teaching with a more global perspective. The foundation of the Primary Years Programme is the Learner Profile which has allowed usage of a common language within the schools and has revived the spirit of collaboration among staff and students.

This program helps to ensure that all children within the Midland Public Schools will receive a more global and internationally-minded education. There is great excitement about what the future holds for the students of Midland Public Schools.