News Release
serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego Counties
Visit us at www.nwhealth.org


Action Teams prepare to tackle top community health priorities across Northern Michigan

JANUARY 23 – Action Teams are now being organized to address Northern Michigan's top health concerns. Data collected last fall, during the first phase of a comprehensive Community Health Assessment, identified obesity and chronic disease, access to health services, and substance abuse as the region's most important health priorities. All are invited to participate in upcoming interactive Action Team lunch meetings:

Access to Health Care: Tuesday, January 29 and Tuesday, February 12, 10:45am-1:00pm
Health Department of Northwest Michigan, 95 Livingston Blvd., Gaylord
Includes access to mental health services, substance abuse treatment and maternal and child health care

Obesity and Chronic Disease: Wednesday, January 30 and Wednesday, February 13, 10:45am-1:00pm
Health Department of Northwest Michigan, 95 Livingston Blvd., Gaylord
Includes discussion of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and stroke, and their relationship to obesity

Substance Abuse Prevention: Wednesday, February 6 (second meeting date to be determined)
Health Department of Northwest Michigan, 95 Livingston Blvd., Gaylord
Includes discussion of tobacco use and exposure

Please RSVP to rsvp@nwhealth.org and indicate which meetings you plan to attend.

“Gathering information, collecting data and setting priorities are only the first steps of our long-term health improvement initiative,” said Linda Yaroch, Health Officer of the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, who serves as the project chair. “Creating practical health improvement plans engages the entire community to work together to make a real difference.”

In addition to collecting more than 250 health statistics, the project included a Healthy Community Survey and Health Care Provider Survey. In partnership with other assessment initiatives, such as the Munson Healthcare Community Health Needs Assessment and Otsego County Quality of Life Project, 22 focus groups and key informant interviews were conducted. Community residents reviewed and analyzed these data and ranked community health priorities.

The community health assessment and improvement is funded by Charlevoix Area Hospital, District Health Department #4, Health Department of Northwest Michigan, McLaren Northern Michigan, Northern Health Plan, and Otsego Memorial Hospital.

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. For additional information, please contact Jane Sundmacher, Community Health Planner, at 231-347-5041 or j.sundmacher@nwhealth.org.

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