“Putting County Health Rankings into Action” Webinar

On Tuesday, April 19, 2011, at 3:00 p.m. EDT, Greater Flint Health Coalition President & CEO Kirk Smith will be the featured presenter in a County Health Rankings webinar focused on the “Take Action” cycle of the “Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health” (MATCH) approach. Hosted by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, the discussion will focus on identifying key stakeholders from multiple sectors and provide examples of messages that can be used to engage leaders in community health improvement efforts. Genesee County will be highlighted, based on the action taken by the Greater Flint Health Coalition in response to the national County Health Rankings.

To register for this webinar featuring the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and GFHC, visit http://match.wisc.edu/countyhealthrankings/webinars/20110419/index.htm

Greater Flint Health Coalition joins Crim Fitness Foundation to host “Your Health, Your Life: An Evening with Deepak Chopra” on April 12, 2011

The Greater Flint Health Coalition has partnered with the Crim Fitness Foundation to bring Deepak Chopra, MD to Flint, Michigan. Acclaimed by Time Magazine as one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century and best-selling author of more than 55 books, Deepak Chopra is acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine.

Occurring on April 12, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at the Riverfront Convention Center in downtown Flint, this free event (with pre-registration) is a once in a lifetime opportunity to gain insight into living a balanced life by hearing Deepak Chopra’s inspirational message of health and wellness.

Over 2,000 community residents are expected to join us for this exciting event – a unique opportunity to join the community commitment required to improve Genesee County’s health outcomes and health behavior rankings.

Diabetes Group Visit Project Receives Two New Grant Awards to Expand Project Implementation

The GFHC’s Diabetes Group Visit Project has received two new grants to continue its work in expanding the diabetes group visit model of care throughout Genesee County.

The Community Foundation of Greater Flint recently awarded the Project a one year grant for $40,000. Funding from this and previous Community Foundation grants was matched through the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation’s Community Health Matching Program: Access to Care for the Uninsured and Underinsured. The BCBSM Foundation is providing the Project an additional $100,000 over a two year period.

Diabetes group visits have been shown to increase patient access to provider interaction, patient access to information and education regarding diabetes, physician/provider capacity and the quality of care for diabetes patients leading ultimately to improved health outcomes. This model of care has shown similar positive results for treating other chronic conditions such as heart failure, asthma, and chronic pain.

Both grants will assist the Diabetes Group Visit Project in expanding the multi-site implementation of group visits through the use of physician champions and educational events, updating the Project’s Replication Manual, providing community physicians with the ability to utilize the GFHC’s developing diabetes registry, and creating a business case for implementation. The Project’s primary focus will be on diabetes, but each grant will also allow the GFHC to assist physicians interested in utilizing the group visit model of care for other chronic conditions. The BCBSM grant will also fund an evaluation to further quantify the positive patient outcome and access to care measures associated with the group visit model of care.

According to Diabetes Group Visit Project Chair Paul Dake, M.D., “the potential for Diabetes Group Visits to improve patient self-management of disease is truly remarkable. This improvement is especially relevant for poorly managed patients who do not respond well to traditional one-on-one care, so therefore physicians have additional time to deal with their most difficult to treat patients through the group setting.”

Physicians interested in learning more about this best practice are encouraged to visit www.gfhc.org and visit the Diabetes Group Visit Project page under the “Current Programs” section. The full Diabetes Group Visit Project Replication Manual is available for download at this location. Interested parties can also contact the GFHC at (810) 232-2228 or gfhc@flint.org.

Greater Flint Health Coalition Announces “County Health Rankings Action Plan” to Address Genesee County Community’s Poor Health Behaviors

On April 6, 2011, the Greater Flint Health Coalition (GFHC) held a press conference to announce its “County Health Rankings Action Plan.” Collaboratively developed by the GFHC and its partner organizations, the Action Plan is in response to the national County Health Rankings study conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. It outlines a series of short and long-term strategies to address Flint and Genesee County’s health rankings, with a special emphasis on improvement in the areas of Health Behaviors and Health Outcomes in Genesee County.

The County Health Rankings national study shows us that where we live matters to our health. The health of a community depends on many different factors – ranging from individual health behaviors, education and jobs, to quality of health care, to the environment. The GFHC has used this information to generate an action plan and secure community-wide commitments to address the county’s most significant health challenges.

Press conference speakers included Kirk Smith, President & CEO, and Deb Cherry, Chair, GFHC; Dr. Michael Boucree, Genesee County Medical Society; Duane Miller, Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce; and City of Flint Mayor Dayne Walling.

“The County Health Rankings” study has provided a consolidated look into our community’s health status, including the root causes behind our poor health outcomes,” Smith said. “Our focus with this Action Plan is to work together to address issues related to preventable health conditions by providing a stimulating environment supported by the commitment of a broad-base of community leaders and committed citizens.”

As a part of its announcement, the GFHC also introduced the theme of a forthcoming, major multi-media health improvement campaign, “Commit to Fit” as the first component of the County Health Rankings Action Plan. The campaign will kick off in May.