The Health Fund has partnered with Michigan-based Issue Media Group to produce State of Health, a series of articles covering health disparities in Michigan and the people all across the state doing innovative work to improve health equity. To get you up to speed, here are five of our favorite pieces from 2018:
Eat your fruits and veggies: doctor’s orders. Or rather, doctor’s prescription. New programs are implementing medical prescriptions for fresh food around Michigan, seeking to establish healthy habits and prevent illness, rather than simply react to it. Farmer’s markets, in turn, are seeing boosts in sales thanks to the nutritious initiative. (And nutrition prescription programs will soon be all over the country: the U.S. 2018 Farm Bill includes funding to expand the approach.) Read the whole story here.
The ability to meet with a doctor with a phone or video call can be life-changing for some patients—especially those that are incapacitated, anxious, or otherwise unable to visit an office in person. But telemedicine faces various barriers before it can become more widely accessible, including medical office restructuring and limited insurance coverage. Read the whole story here.
One in five school-aged children face mental health challenges, but only one in five of those impacted receive the help they need. Schools around Michigan are incorporating new training and programming to build support systems for students suffering from mental illness. From Ann Arbor to Lansing to Redford Township and beyond, the impact has been dramatic. Read the whole story here.
As lifespans and senior populations continue to increase, communities are working hard to strengthen infrastructure to support their aging members. The AARP has established guidelines for “age-friendly communities”—areas committed to protecting their residents’ health in integrated, multidimensional ways. Lansing, Grand Rapids, Highland Park, and Auburn Hills are just a few of the many Michigan communities making such changes. Read the whole story here.
A closed car dealership transforms into a health center. Former classrooms become community development facilities. By retooling vacant buildings into dynamic hubs of healthy programming, new clinics and health centers throughout Michigan are able to provide services in the heart of the communities they serve, reinvigorating neighborhoods while they’re at it. Read the whole story here.