The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation is granting $2 million to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and $2 million to the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York to endow program officer positions at each institution.
Tim Niyonsenga, 34, has been selected to fill the newly created role at the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, which supports the improvement of health care and cost reductions. It was created in 2013 through a law requiring Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to contribute up to $1.56 billion over 18 years to a health endowment fund as part of its conversion to a mutual insurance company.
Niyonsenga, who started his role earlier this year, has 15 years of experience working in senior care, according to a news release. He worked for six years at Michigan’s Region 2 Area Agency on Aging, where he implemented the MI Choice Waiver Program, helping Medicaid-eligible older adults stay in their homes. He earned a master’s degree in social work from Michigan State University.
Ken Genewick was appointed to the same newly created role at the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York.
The funds are designed to support the positions into perpetuity, said Carly Strachan, communications officer for the foundation.
The foundation targets grants in Southeast Michigan and western New York. Wilson was a Grosse Pointe Shores resident and owned the Buffalo Bills. He died in March 2014 at age 95.
“As a spend-down foundation with an expiration date in 2035, these endowed positions are an opportunity for the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation to inform our work today and also create a legacy of support for caregivers beyond our life,” Amber Slichta, vice president of programs for the foundation, said in a written statement.