Friday, February 28, 2014

A Healthy Community - Kent County Health Department Looking for Your Input

Kent County is a diverse region with a variety of complexities that make it unique. We have rural communities, where farms dot the landscape.  There are exclusive, wealthy cities and townships, where upper class residents live.  There are suburban areas, filled with middle class families.   We have an urban core, which varies widely: professionals, young families, students, people living in poverty, and the homeless.
These people each voice a variety of concerns when it comes to health.  We know that health inequity exists; statistically, we see certain chronic illness is more common in specific racial or socioeconomic populations.  Access to quality, affordable health care is difficult to attain for many individuals in Kent County.  But there are so many factors that impact health, such as mental health care, availability of healthy foods, and oral health care.  Dynamics such as crime, lack of transportation, and educational obstacles add to this dilemma.  These must be addressed, but how?
Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnership, or MAPP is a nationally recognized community-wide-strategic planning process being used by Healthy Kent to improve health outcomes in Kent County.  Using this framework, our plan is to create a more comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) as a starting point in developing a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). 
Local Health Departments are required to update their Community Health Needs Assessment every five years for state accreditation; hospitals must update theirs every three years, under requirements set by the IRS.  Healthy Kent and the Kent County Health Department will work with organizations once again in 2014 to meet both requirements.  The 2013-2014 Community Health Needs Assessment will include areas of Kent County, including Grand Rapids metro area, suburban and rural regions. 
MAPP is working to help communities improve health and quality of life.  To reach these goals, we must take a community-wide and community-driven approach to strategic planning.  Using the MAPP process, we believe we can help communities achieve optimal health.  We need to identify and use existing resources wisely.  We also must consider each community’s unique circumstances and needs, and form effective partnerships for strategic action.  The most successful efforts are those where people share a commitment to - and have a role in - the community’s health and overall well-being.
While the Kent County Health Department is organizing this new CHNA and CHIP in conjunction with public, private, and voluntary organizations, our goal is that the final product is completely led by the citizens of Kent County. Community ownership is the fundamental component of MAPP.  Because the community’s strengths, needs, and desires drive the process, MAPP provides the framework for creating a truly community-driven initiative.  Community participation leads to collective thinking and, ultimately, results in effective, sustainable solutions to complex problems.
There are unique concerns about access and health that can change based on urban, suburban, and rural lifestyles.  MAPP team leaders are meeting with residents and stakeholders in eight geographical regions around Kent County, to determine the greatest concerns in our diverse communities.  Meetings will last 1-2 hours, a meal will be provided, and each attendee will have a chance to win a $25 Meijer gift card.  Data gathered from previous surveys and studies will be presented, then community members will be asked to discuss health topics and share ideas on how the health issues can be improved.
If you would like to attend one of our community health forums and learn more about the CHNA process, please visit our website ( and RSVP to a meeting near you.
We look forward to hearing from you,
Healthy Kent

March 4th 2014
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Plainfield Township Branch KDL
2650 5 Mile Rd. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
March 4th 2014
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Straight School Building (Multi-Purpose Room)
850 Chatham St. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
March 6th 2014
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
3 Mile Community Center
1470 3 Mile Rd. NW
Walker, MI 49544
March 11th 2014
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Wyoming Branch KDL
3350 Michael Ave. SW
Wyoming, MI 49509
March 12th 2014
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Grandville Public School: High School Cafeteria
4700 Canal Ave. SW
Grandville, MI 49418
March 18th 2014
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Grandville Branch KDL
4055 Maple St. SW
Grandville, MI 49418
March 18th 2014
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Hope Network
755 36th St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49548
March 20th 2014
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Sparta Civic Center
75 N. Union St.
Sparta, MI 49345
March 25th 2014
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Caledonia Township KDL
6260 92nd St. SE
Caledonia, MI 49316
March 27th 2014
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Metro Health
14211 White Creek Road
Cedar Springs, MI 49319
March 31th 2014
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Krause Memorial Branch KDL
140 E. Bridge St.
Rockford,  MI 49341
April 1st 2014
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Tyrone Township Offices
28 E. Muskegon St.
Kent City, MI 49330
April 3rd 2014
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Byron Township Branch KDL
8191 Byron Center Ave. SW
Byron Center, MI 49315
April 14th 2014
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Englehardt Branch KDL
200 N. Monroe St.
Lowell, MI 49331
April 15th 2014
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Cascade Township Branch KDL
2870 Jacksmith Ave. SE
Grand Rapids,  MI 49546


No comments:

Post a Comment