Over the course of 2019, the Washtenaw Health Initiative began mapping out a strategy for 2020 and beyond.
To accomplish this, the Washtenaw Health Initiative Officers Committee and staff from the WHI’s backbone organization, the Center for Health and Research Transformation (CHRT), engaged stakeholders, member organizations, and funders in a series of conversations about the initiative’s future.
The WHI Steering Committee reviewed feedback from these conversations, as well as findings from multiple surveys of WHI members, both through the WHI’s own survey and a large survey conducted by Michigan State University as part of the state’s evaluation of Michigan’s five community health innovation regions.
Results from this research and engagement have inspired several changes to the WHI’s strategic direction, including:
- adding health equity, including racial equity, to the initiative’s mission;
- limiting the number of WHI projects to those that address behavioral health, senior services, the social determinants of health, and access to care;
- finding meaningful ways to engage residents and people with lived experience as low-income, uninsured, or underinsured, in the direction and work of the WHI;
- better articulating goals and outcomes for the WHI and its work groups;
- continuing to incubate ideas, serve as a thought leader, coordinate and facilitate member organizations, manage projects, and conduct assessments; and
- finding ways to influence policy in directions that improve outcomes for low-income, uninsured, and underinsured residents.
Since these decisions were made, the Steering Committee has:
- approved changes to the initiative’s organizational and operational principles that reflect the decisions listed above;
- approved priority topics for the 2020-2022 period including behavioral health, senior services, the social determinants of health, and access to care;
- begun to look at a number of ways to engage residents and people with lived experience; and
- begun to discuss appropriate ways to influence policy.