A word from our co-chairs…
Dear Community Partners,
We are pleased to share with you our 2013 successes in the Washtenaw Health Initiative (WHI). The WHI kicked off in January 2011, and over the first three years, we’ve made a positive impact for our community members who are Medicaid recipients, are low-income, or lack health insurance.
A key feature of the WHI is its voluntary nature. As of December 2013, more than 150 people participate voluntarily in a variety of WHI working groups and eleven community-based projects. From July 2012 through June 2013, more than 6,300 hours were dedicated to the effort all across the county, from safety net medical and dental clinics to various community outreach locations. Another key feature of the WHI is the facilitation and research support provided by the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation.
The WHI has worked to leverage and coordinate financial and human resources throughout this community to support the various initiatives. We thank our numerous funders, and especially our two major sponsors: St. Joseph Mercy Health System and the University of Michigan Health System.
This year marked our first initiative-wide evaluation. We conducted 10 interviews and 3 focus groups, which resulted in feedback from 20 people from various groups of the WHI. In addition, the evaluation results were reviewed by the full membership of the WHI at our October all-member meeting, and when asked whether the WHI should continue into the future, the response was overwhelmingly “yes”. Other key findings were that WHI members felt their participation was valuable and impactful. Members also recommended more communications to the community about our successes. To this end, we will add information to our website and look for more opportunities to interact with community members via online social media in addition to the newsletter that we are already producing.
Next year’s work will consist of continuing the planning and pilot project implementation that has begun, as well as developing new ideas to improve access to coverage and better coordinate care for our community’s most vulnerable. Thank you for your participation and support of the Washtenaw Health Initiative. We look forward to working with you to continue these successes in 2014 and beyond.