News Release
Posted by The MolinaCares Accord

University of Michigan Names Winners of Michigan Health Equity Challenge

Media Contact: Ben Jackey,, (502) 377-9484

The MolinaCares Accord initiative was developed to address health disparities 

ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 19, 2024 – The University of Michigan School of Public Health has named two student winners in the Michigan Health Equity Challenge. The initiative, funded by a $100,000 grant from The MolinaCares Accord (“MolinaCares”) and Molina Healthcare of Michigan, provided graduate students at the University of Michigan with resources and mentorship support in the development of innovative solutions, in partnership with community-based organizations (CBO), to Michigan’s pressing health equity concerns. Molina will now provide $50,000 for each partner CBO to implement the winning strategies with the students. 

The following proposals were selected as winners of the challenge: 

Student – Mehak Bhansali, University of Michigan School of Public Health 

Proposal – Empowerment in Your Pocket: Unveiling the Ultimate Intimate Partner Violence Resource Toolkit App with the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence

Summary – This project aims to develop a mobile app that serves as a comprehensive intimate partner violence (IPV) resource toolkit, categorizing resources into five IPV-centric pillars: law; finance; food, clothing, and shelter; children; and mental health. This app will be a critical tool in advancing health equity in the IPV landscape across Michigan by providing inclusive services for all populations and ensuring survivors can easily access the necessary support in a timely manner. Ensuring all IPV survivors have easy access to resources will mitigate feelings of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm. This can result in improved mental health and the prevention of stress-induced diseases, including metabolic disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and autoimmune dysfunction.

Student – Melissa K. Zochowski, University of Michigan Medical School

Proposal – Holistic Opportunities for Patient Equity (HOPE) Clinical Intervention: Understanding and Meeting the Needs of Neurodivergent Individuals Seeking Reproductive Healthcare at Planned Parenthood of Michigan

Summary – This project proposes a two-phase implementation of neurodiversity-affirming reproductive healthcare delivery practices to improve outcomes for neurodivergent individuals and increase provider knowledge of their unique clinical encounter needs. Neurodivergent individuals may have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), sensory challenges and difficulties, or other developmental and/or intellectual disabilities. Phase 1, “Identify and Understand,” aims to identify neurodivergent patients and collect patient-reported data on their unique healthcare needs, ensuring every encounter is tailored for success. Phase 2, “Inform and Implement,” focuses on leveraging insights from Phase 1 to educate and train healthcare providers on neurodiversity, directly integrate patient feedback into care practices, and engage in comprehensive analysis and interventions to improve clinical care delivery long-term. 

In 2021, MolinaCares brought to life the first cohort of the Health Equity Challenge with UCLA to inspire students to partner with local organizations and develop new approaches to persisting local health disparities. The University of Michigan is MolinaCares’ second collegiate partner for this initiative.

About The MolinaCares Accord  

Established by Molina Healthcare, Inc., The MolinaCares Accord oversees a community investment platform created to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged populations by funding meaningful, measurable, and innovative programs and solutions that improve health, life, and living in local communities. The MolinaCares Accord funds such measures through The Molina Healthcare Charitable Foundation Inc., a 501(c)(3) established in 2020 by Molina Healthcare, Inc.

About Molina Healthcare of Michigan 

Molina Healthcare of Michigan has been providing government-funded health care since 1997. The Company serves members through Medicaid, Medicare, Medicare-Medicaid (Duals), and Health Insurance Exchange programs throughout Michigan. Through its locally operated health plans, Molina Healthcare, Inc., a Fortune 500 company, provides managed health care services under the Medicaid and Medicare programs, and through state insurance marketplaces. For more information about Molina Healthcare of Michigan, visit

About University of Michigan School of Public Health 

Since 1941, the University of Michigan School of Public Health has been pursuing a healthier, more equitable world through education, research, and action. Ranked among the top schools of public health in the country, Michigan Public Health trains more than 1,300 graduate and undergraduate students each year. With more than 190 faculty and researchers across six academic departments and numerous collaborative centers and institutes, the school produces impactful research aimed at finding lasting solutions to pressing public health challenges. Compassion, innovation and inclusion drive Michigan Public Health faculty, staff, students and more than 18,000 alumni worldwide to pursue positive change and make a lasting impact on the health of the world. Learn more at or follow us on social media at @umichsph.