Current Projects

Several 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.

Hospital Community Health Assessments & Investments

The Unified Needs Assessment and Implementation Plan Team Engagement (UNITE) Group, launched in 2015 by the region’s largest non-profit hospitals, works to identify and address community health needs, including the social determinants of health, in order to advance public health and health equity.


In 2012, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea published a community health needs assessment with a list of actions the hospitals would take to address those needs. In 2013, Michigan Medicine did the same.

In 2015, these hospitals—in some ways competitors—forged a new partnership designed to leverage all of their resources to have a greater impact on community health and to advance health equity.

Since then, the group has published three community health needs assessments and subsequent implementation plans in 2016, 2019, and 2021. Assessments identify community health priority areas and are used to inform hospitals’ implementation plans. The plans include a list of steps each hospital will take, and a list of steps all hospitals will take jointly, to address community health issues with a special focus on health equity.




Ongoing work

The UNITE work group is exploring ways to collectively improve social isolation, particularly among seniors in Washtenaw County. In addition, the health systems continue to work towards the objectives outlined in the 2021 implementation plan to address the 3 identified priority need areas: (1) mental health and substance use disorders, (2) obesity and related illnesses, and (3) pre-conceptual and perinatal health.


The UNITE group members include dedicated volunteers from the county’s three non-profit hospitals, Michigan Medicine, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, and St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea, as well as staff leaders at the Washtenaw County Health Department.

For more information

Contact the work group’s co-chairs:

Contact the work group’s staff representative: