Current Projects

Eight active work groups meet regularly to address the Washtenaw Health Initiative’s focus areas. With support from staff members at the Center for Health and Research Transformation (CHRT), these groups generate innovative ideas to improve health and healthcare in the county, identify and share information on medical and social care gaps, coordinate and leverage resources, and plan and direct strategic projects and activities.

Senior Services

The Senior Services Work Group formed in late 2016 to identify senior service needs, determine the cause of those needs, and begin to address those issues so that Washtenaw County seniors–regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status–can experience healthy aging.


The senior services group recently completed a comprehensive analysis that included a literature review, scan of current resources in the region, older-adult resource survey, key informant interviews with front-line staff who provide services to older adults and caregivers, and physician office and senior center survey. The group’s “Root Cause Analysis Summary” provides an overview of their methods, their findings, their conclusions, and their proposed next steps.

Click to review the Root Cause Analysis Summary

Ongoing work

“There are challenges accessing and learning about needed resources among older adults,” the senior services group reports. “While the internet is widely used to seek information, it is not used as widely among older age groups.” Seniors more often turn to family and friends, senior centers, physician offices, telephone call centers, and print flyers and brochures for information. The senior services group is focused on improving communication about resources so seniors can find the information they need.


The senior services work group is chaired by Rachel Dewees and Joanne Grosh. Dewees is assistant director of community programs at the University of Michigan Geriatrics Center; Grosh is regional director of senior services at St. Joseph Mercy Health System. The group includes dedicated volunteers with wide representation across Washtenaw County, including representatives from Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County, Area Agency on Aging 1-B, Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County, the Ypsilanti Senior Center, and more.

For more information contact