Lessons from a National Health Initiative that Helps Address Social Needs

The latest episode of On the Evidence focuses on a national initiative aimed at identifying and addressing non-medical factors that affect a person’s health. Doctors, nurses, and other health care providers can use a screening tool, such as a questionnaire, to uncover a patient’s health-related social needs, such as housing instability or food insecurity. Providers can then refer patients in need to community-based organizations with the resources and expertise to help.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) developed one such screening tool as well as a guide to assist providers who use the tool. The guide was created for the Accountable Health Communities (AHC) Model, a program that includes 28 organizations across the country.

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Priority Health recaps their fun event with FitKids360!

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Priority Health recently helped to fight childhood obesity by supporting FitKids360 program run by local health experts who help children and families develop healthy habits by combining basic education about nutrition, behavior and exercise with a range of physical activities. Both Priority Health and FitKids360 look to curb the alarming statistics that 1 in 3 children in the U.S. is overweight, and 1 in 5 children in the U.S. is obese. Here is what one of our friends from Priority Health said about this event:

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Hometown Health Heroes and Jean Chabut Policy Champions honored by Michigan Public Health Week partnership

LANSING, Mich. – As part of National Public Health Week, nine individuals and organizations will be presented with the 2021 Hometown Health Hero and Jean Chabut Health Policy Champion awards for their contributions to protecting and improving the health of Michigan. 2020 recipients are also included below. Hometown Health Hero awards are presented every spring as part of Michigan Public Health Week. By building connections, our communities become healthier, safer, and better for all.
“It’s an honor to award these selfless individuals and organizations whose efforts make Michigan a better place for many segments of our population,” said MDHHS director Elizabeth Hertel. “The Hometown Health Hero awards are a way we can recognize how both small and large efforts make a positive impact on our state.”
2021 Hometown Health Hero Recipients:

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Building Strong Community Partnerships to Address Social Needs

A case study in effective advisory board collaboration from the Accountable Health Communities Model.

Health Net of West Michigan is a nonprofit organization in Kent County, Michigan, that aims to create a “community where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.” As an Alignment Track bridge organization participating in the Accountable Health Communities (AHC) Model, Health Net established an advisory board made up of community partners across sectors who strive to create equitable systems change. Health Net’s advisory board focuses on addressing social determinants of health at the community and systems levels, involving community advisors and executive-level representatives from community entities, coalitions, and local government.

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Multisector Partnerships Such As ACHs: How Can They Improve Population Health And Reduce Health Inequities?

Over the past year, the United States has witnessed tremendous health inequities from COVID-19 across populations defined by race, ethnicity, geography, and disability. As part of the pandemic response and recovery, communities have taken advantage of existing multisector partnerships to address individual and community-level health and social needs. Indeed, in the recently released National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, the Biden administration commits to:

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U-M Receives $1.4M in NIH Funding to expand COVID-19 outreach

Being deeply rooted in the wellbeing of Michigan communities meant that the Community Engagement program at the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, Michigan Medicine, and the U-M School of Public Health were on the frontlines when the pandemic hit the nation.

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WMCAT 20/20 Participant Reflection: The Past, Present, and Future of Our Healthcare System

Nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, many in Michigan are asking what a post-COVID world will look like. COVID-19 has exacerbated many of the existing challenges within our healthcare system, including disparities in access to health coverage, high costs of care and medicine, inequitable outcomes, and more. As of this writing, over 475,000 Americans have died as a result of COVID-19. The American healthcare system is moving towards a value-based payment model, one in which quality of care and better health outcomes are incentivized. Our current system pays for the cost of delivering care regardless of outcome, spending an estimated $11,000 per person, compared to the $5,400 average per person in peer countries. The United States spends more on health care than almost every other developed nation in the world, yet we do not see improved health outcomes.

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Governor Whitmer Announces Appointments to Bipartisan Protect Michigan Commission 

LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer appointed new members to the bipartisan Protect Michigan Commission. The appointees represent a diverse array of industries, professions, and backgrounds. Housed within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the commission will help raise awareness of the safety and effectiveness of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, educate the people of this state, and help protect the health and safety of all Michigan residents.   

Michigan is working around the clock to ramp up vaccinations and reach our goal of 50,000 shots in arms per day, and with the help of the Protect Michigan Commission we can ensure everyone has a plan to get vaccinated once the opportunity becomes available to them,” said Governor Whitmer. “Thbipartisan members of this group will play a vital role in helping to reinforce the importance of everyone getting the safe and effective vaccine. I am confident that the members of this commission will rise to the occasion and help Michigan end the COVID-19 pandemic once and for all.” 

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Kent County approves $2.6M for Ready by Five millage

The Kent County board of commissioners approved nearly $2.6 million in funding for the Ready by Five Early Childhood millage to provide continued services for families in the county.

The funds were approved after a Resident Proposal Review Committee, comprised of parents and community members, reviewed proposals and made recommendations to the First Steps Kent Board of Commissioners.

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More tax-funded early childhood programs to begin January 2021 in Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — County leaders have put $2.6 million toward programs, such as translation services and learning kits, aimed at the healthy development and early learning of children up to age 5.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners at its meeting Thursday, Dec. 3, voted unanimously to allocate the early childhood millage dollars to 12 community programs.

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