UNITE soon to publish an implementation plan based on recent community health needs assessment

The Unified Needs Assessment and Implementation Plan Team Engagement (UNITE) group will soon be publishing an implementation plan based on their recent Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) for Washtenaw County.
Review the health systems’ unified Community Health Needs Assessment on any of the following sites:

The UNITE group was launched in 2015 by St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea, and Michigan Medicine, the region’s largest non-profit health systems. Their goal is to leverage all their combined resources by collaborating on a single CHNA and associated implementation plan, and therefore to have a greater impact on community health and health equity. 

The UNITE group works to identify and address community health needs and social determinants of health by developing the CHNA and implementation plan. Those two documents, published every three years, guide the health care providers’ community benefit investments across the county. This year, Michigan Medicine agreed to collaborate on the CHNA one year earlier so that going forward, the schedule would align with other Trinity Health systems across the state. 
UNITE group members also partnered with the Washtenaw County Public Health Department to assemble and assess the community data, with the Washtenaw Health Initiative (WHI) serving as a facilitator.

In the summer of 2019, the UNITE group published an updated CHNA for Washtenaw County. The CHNA identified three priority areas that continue to be significant areas of need across the community:

  1. Mental health and substance use disorders,
  2. Obesity and related illnesses, and
  3. Preconceptual and perinatal health.

These priority areas were identified using lenses of social determinants of health and of health equity.
UNITE group members also conducted a root cause analysis (RCA) around community conditions and contributing factors to the prioritized health needs, such as poverty, housing and homelessness, and loneliness and social isolation.
This fall, the UNITE group plans to publish an implementation plan based on the CHNA that will guide how the health care providers work to address these issues in the community.