In some ways Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties are doing well in tackling major health issues compared to the entire state of Michigan.
But on other measures, they still have a long way to go.
The progress report on the three mid-Michigan counties is a mixed bag this year. People living in those counties have better access to primary and preventative care than some other Michiganders.
But theystill have a long way to go on health issues that affect thousands of families.
“Obesity, behavioral health which encompasses a lot of mental health issues as well as substance abuse disorders,” Ingham County health officer Linda Vail says, “financial stability and economic mobility.”
It takes teamwork to achieve the goals in the community health improvement plan. That’s why Vail says the counties bring in so many outside groups and community leaders.
“We do stakeholder groups, focus groups, all of those sorts of things so that we bring, as much as we can, all of the voices to the table in order to contribute to the process.”
All three counties have five major objectives between now and 2022 including battling those long-term health issues and economic barriers to quality healthcare.
Vail says the way forward is through continued conversations, teamwork and lots of feedback.
“Continue to take those major priority areas that have already been set, and start to really drill down into goals and strategies,” Vail says. “You know, where do we want to be and how do we get there.”
Those same groups will meet again in June to continue strategizing about how to meet those goals, so that people in mid-Michigan have better access to quality care.