October stakeholders meeting focuses on community health and human service needs

At the October stakeholders meeting, the Washtenaw Health Initiative focused on community health needs, including social determinants of health, hospital health investments, and community mental health priorities.

Social determinants of health

The meeting started with preliminary findings from 72,000 social determinants of health (SDoH) screenings conducted by 54 regional Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs) operated by the Huron Valley Physicians Association (HVPA), Integrated Health Associates (IHA), and Michigan Medicine.

PCMH Subcommittee members focused on high level findings from the screenings. These were shared by Leah Corneail, senior project manager at Michigan Medicine’s population health office, Dayani Waas, quality project manager at IHA, and Alicia Majcher, quality operations director at HVPAThe data collected through these screenings–which will continue and expand in the year ahead–will be used to identify service needs and gaps that can be addressed by the Washtenaw Health Initiative and other local organizations. 

Mental health millage

Michael Harding, deputy director of Washtenaw County Community Mental Health, gave an update on the mental health millage investments recommended by the Community Mental Health Advisory Committee. WHI stakeholders offered feedback to the committee at the May stakeholders meeting, and that feedback was incorporated into the committee’s recommendations, which include:

  • Planning, integrating, and expanding peer supports and preventive service;
  • ACCESS Plus, Crisis Center, and Stabilization Services;
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services; and 
  • Supportive housing services.

In addition, the committee recommended the implementation of robust evaluation and communications components to track, measure, and communicate outcomes from the millage investments and to increase awareness about, and reduce stigma related to, mental health and substance use disorders.

Hospitals share community health investments, begin to reassess needs

Stakeholders broke into small groups to review results from the UNITE Group’s equity-based community health investments. In 2105, WHI stakeholders provided input for the joint-hospital health assessment that preceded this work–which was conducted by Michigan Medicine, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, and St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea.

UNITE work group members, including Reiley Curran, Alfreda Rooks, Maria Thomas, and Elisabeth Vanderpool (pictured above) reported back on what had been done since then, and solicited input for the next round of work. UNITE group members facilitated discussions at each table and staff members from the Center for Health and Research Transformation took notes that were shared with the UNITE group the following week.

WHI business

Doug Strong, WHI co-chair, asked for nominations for an open seat on the WHI Steering Committee and shared high-level results from the WHI’s member survey along with actions the committee will take to address them. Among those actions, the WHI will begin to offer orientation programs for new members and will ramp up internal and external communications efforts.

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