The Greater Flint Health Coalition has received $30,000 in funding from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint’s Arthur L. Tuuri Health Fund to support its Diabetes Group Visit Project. This project, which began in 2008, aims to reduce diabetes morbidity and improve quality of life for diabetic patients in Genesee County through the implementation of diabetes group visits throughout multiple healthcare physician practices in the community.
Group visits are an innovative clinical care model demonstrating effectiveness in improved patient outcomes, improved patient and physician satisfaction, and reduced healthcare costs. Often referred to as shared medical appointments, group visits typically involve 7-10 patients meeting with their physician and professional staff for 1½ to 2 hours for a one-on-one medical evaluation coupled with a group educational session emphasizing self-management behaviors. Project Chair, Paul Dake, M.D. has noted that, “The group visit model allows physicians to spend additional time with their most challenged diabetic patients. The improvements in HbA1c and cholesterol measures for patients in our group visits, compared to before they started attending the visits, have been truly remarkable.”
Multiple physician practices in Genesee County have already begun to regularly hold diabetes group visits for their patients. This grant funding will support local collaboration through the Greater Flint Health Coalition’s Diabetes Group Visit Project Workgroup to develop best practices, provide resources, and expand group visit implementation throughout Genesee County to additional provider sites. While diabetes remains the main focus, the Project has recognized the value of group visits for treating other health conditions such as heart disease, asthma, pregnancy, chronic pain and obesity/overweight. The Workgroup has created a Medical Group Visit Implementation Guide – a quick how-to manual outlining the essential information physician practices need for implementing group visits to treat any health condition including strategies or processes for patient recruitment, addressing HIPAA and patient confidentiality, group facilitation, and reimbursement. The guide may be downloaded from the Greater Flint Health Coalition’s website, www.gfhc.org. Physician practices may also contact the Greater Flint Health Coalition by phone at (810) 232-2228 or email at email@example.com to request a copy of the guide or other group visit resources the Project has to offer.
The Diabetes Group Visit Project Workgroup is a collaborative partnership with representation from McLaren Flint, Genesee County Medical Society, Genesys Health System, Hurley Medical Center, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, HealthPlus of Michigan, Genesee Health Plan, Hamilton Community Health Network, and the United Auto Workers Community Health Initiatives.
The City of Flint and the Greater Flint Health Coalition held a Kickoff Meeting to present a Health and Safety Mini-Grant Program in partnership with Commit to Fit! and the Blue Badge Program. The event was attended by over 50 community members representing neighborhood groups, block clubs, local associations, civic groups, non-profit organizations, and other groups.
The Health & Safety Mini-Grant Program is designed to increase community-based safety initiatives that have a positive impact on the health and safety of local residents. In the City of Flint, the violent crime rate is over 400% of the national average and safety remains an issue for many individuals and families. From a health perspective, as residents perceive unsafe environments, they modify their behaviors by avoiding visiting parks, taking walks, and other outdoor activities while blight and poor conditions often increase, contributing to increased stress, anxiety, and low work productivity, significantly impacting personal well-being related to social, economic, and health factors.
The goals of this Health and Safety Mini-Grant Program are to improve safety by activating residents’ ability to work together on efforts to improve the appearance of neighborhood environments, and create safer places for residents to be physically and socially active. These goals will be achieved via mini-grants used to create environmental changes (such as sidewalk improvement or the addition of lighting for night safety), form neighborhood watches and walking clubs, and complete beautification or clean-up activities within neighborhoods, churches, schools, and parks. The program will include a total of 10-20 mini-grants awards of $100 – $1,000 each, going to neighborhood groups, block clubs, civic groups, and non-profit organizations.
Speakers at the event included Dayne Walling, Mayor, City of Flint, Bryant Nolden, City Councilman, 3rd Ward, Tanya Meeks, Flint Police Officer and Blue Badge Program Coordinator, and Kirk Smith, President & CEO of the Greater Flint Health Coalition.
“Recognizing violence and crime as major issues impacting local residents, we want to offer this program to empower neighborhood groups to address safety through community-based efforts,” said Kirk Smith, President & CEO of the Greater Flint Health Coalition, adding that “by improving safety, there will also be positive impacts on the health of residents.” Dayne Walling, Mayor, City of Flint stated that “the City of Flint is committed to improving the safety and well-being of residents in creative ways, and this program will serve to improve safety while also informing our Master Plan development process in strategies to address safety in the long-term.”
Applications will be due no later than Friday, July 27, 2012 and funds will be awarded to grantees in August, 2012. All funding is provided through the Greater Flint HealthCoalition. To obtain an application for the Health and Safety Mini-Grant Program, please click on one of the links below:
PDF version of Health & Safety Mini-Grant Application