Program seeks to remove financial barriers to cancer care in Wayne County


ROCHESTER HILLS, MICH., Feb. 6, 2023 – From the moment of diagnosis, social determinants of health (SDoH) that are beyond a patient’s control — including race, ethnicity, income level, zip code and language — can create financial and clinical barriers to cancer care.

Together with Priority Health and the Total Health Care Foundation, New Day Foundation for Families aims to remove barriers to cancer care by joining forces to address SDoH, such as food and housing shortages, economic stability and physical/mental health issues in the region through a $150,000 grant.  The grant will help fund the Family Support Program in Detroit and throughout Wayne County. The program provides financial assistance, emotional support and grocery support to families in active treatment for cancer who have experienced a loss of income due to the disease.

“Disparities in health care should not define a patient’s chance of survival, but they do,” said Gina Kell Spehn, co-founder and president of New Day. “SDoH barriers, such as employment, education, transportation, housing, access to healthy food and poverty, are often a more reliable prediction of successful cancer outcomes than clinical care. We are committed to removing these barriers to treatment by helping families pay the rent, covering their utility bills or car payments and providing fresh food.”

Priority Health recognizes the vital role it plays in improving health and health care in Michigan and understands that addressing social determinants of health is key for achieving health equity. As the largest nonprofit health care plan in the state, Priority Health is in a unique position to drive real change in the communities it serves.

Efforts to improve health outcomes have historically focused on medical interventions. However, health care systems increasingly recognize that addressing social determinants of health is just as critical to overcoming health disparities and improving care outcomes for all.

New Day Foundation was selected as one of seven grant recipients by Total Health Care in late November 2022.

“Priority Health and the Total Health Care Foundation are proud to invest in organizations such as the New Day Foundation so they can strengthen their public services and initiatives that contribute to overall good health,” said Shannon Wilson, vice president of population health and health equity at Priority Health and executive director of the Total Health Care Foundation. “We cannot wait to see what amazing things these organizations are able to achieve through these contributions to their causes.”

For more information on the Total Health Care Foundation, please visit


With over 30 years in business, Priority Health is the second largest health plan in Michigan, offering an extensive portfolio of health benefits options for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid plans. Serving more than one million members each year and offering a broad network of primary care physicians in Michigan, Priority Health continues to be recognized as a leader for quality, customer service, transparency and product innovation. Learn more about affordable, quality health coverage options from Priority Health.

New Day Foundation for Families is a 501c3 Charity Navigator rated nonprofit, Platinum Level Guidestar organization and Top-Rated Nonprofit by Great Nonprofits. The Rochester Hills, Mich. organization is an accessible, trusted and patient-centric cancer support organization that provides financial and emotional resources to families facing cancer. Programs are intended to have a positive impact on treatment outcomes and survivorship by alleviating financial and emotional stressors. New Day pays critical living expenses (direct to creditors) and offers professional counseling and grocery support to help patients maintain medical compliance and improve quality of life.

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