Genesee County Community-Wide Opioid Strategy

The opioid epidemic, now a nationwide public health emergency, does not discriminate the individuals and communities that it impacts. Genesee County is no exception. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Genesee County ranks third behind Wayne County and Macomb County in the number of opioid overdose deaths in 2019 at 138, down from 184 in 2018.1 In 2019, 70,630 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States, where opioids were involved in over 49,860, or 70.6% of all drug overdose deaths.2

Under the direction of the Mental Health & Substance Use Task Force, the Community-Wide Opioid Strategy seeks to engage children, seniors, and our community’s residents most impacted by the opioid crisis through a collaborative, multi-sector effort to build and strengthens current workforce capacity, utilize upstream prevention strategies, and create an innovative, integrated model that coordinates care, services, and community resources to improve the treatment for and prevention of opioid misuse.

Additional tools and community resources can be found at www.KnowMoreGenesee.org

An additional 2-year MHEF grant has been obtained to implement the “Integration of Peer Recovery Support Systems to Strengthen Access to Addiction Treatment” project.

Expansion of existing efforts include:

  • Incorporation of peer recovery support services for non-opiate substances
  • Integration of peer recovery coaches into community and clinical settings
  • Development and distribution of non-opiate treatment resources

State of Flint Kids

With so many different resources available for data, the State of Flint Kids website aims to be a constant and up-to-date resource for local Flint and Genesee County data. This interactive website allows you to review data and data trends for over 300 different indicators. The State of Flint Kids website shares data about how Flint kids are doing, what has been learned along the way, and most importantly, the ongoing and long-term work that must be done to ensure the best outcomes for children.

State of Flint Kids is a partnership between the Greater Flint Health Coalition and the Michigan State University/Hurley Medical Center Pediatric Public Health Initiative, funded by the Flint Kids Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.

Community Approaches to Strengthening Economic Supports (CASES) Project

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The Office of Minority Health awarded the Greater Flint Health Coalition a three year cooperative agreement to implement the CASES Project to serve low-income working families disproportionately at risk for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), including racial and ethnic minorities residing in Flint and Genesee County, Michigan. This initiative seeks to (1) increase Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) awareness and receipt, (2) reduce financial stress on Flint and Genesee County families, and (3) decrease risk factors for ACEs to support stronger, healthier, and more equitable communities.

The GFHC will collaborate with a broad collection of multi-sector partners to implement a tiered outreach and education strategy to increase awareness and receipt of the EITC, focusing on individual, community, and system level education and awareness initiatives. Additional activities will also be put into place to decrease barriers to receiving the EITC and increase communitywide awareness of risk and protective factors for ACEs.

Key partnerships include the Genesee Health Plan (local health plan), Michigan United (non-profit organization), Flint Registry (community-based program), United Way of Genesee County (non-profit organization), and Michigan State University (evaluation partner) as well as a multi-sector Outreach Strategy Collaborative that consists of representatives from social services agencies, early childhood providers, mental health and substance use treatment providers, business/labor organizations, faith-based organizations, government agencies, and other community-based organizations.

The successful implementation of the project will lead to increased awareness of EITC and protective factors for ACEs as well increased EITC receipt, which will create a measurable impact on community-wide risk factors for ACEs and improve health outcomes. We expect more than 50,000 community residents will be engaged as part of the activities proposed by the Flint & Genesee County Strengthening Economic Supports for Working Families Project.

Flint ReCAST

The Flint ReCAST (Resiliency in Communities after Stress and Trauma) Program is intended to assist high-risk youth and families in the City of Flint impacted by the Flint Water Emergency (FWE). Flint ReCAST seeks to promote resilience and equity through implementation of evidence-based violence prevention and community youth engagement programs, as well as linkages to trauma-informed behavioral health services.  Flint ReCAST envisions the greater Flint community working together in ways that lead to improved behavioral health, empowered community residents, reductions in trauma, and sustained community change.

Flint ReCAST is a program of the City of Flint and the Greater Flint Health Coalition serves as the facilitation partner for the program.

Five Goals of Flint ReCAST:

  • Build on strong local programs and partnerships to support at-risk youth and families in developing resilience, reducing violence, and developing a vibrant community.
  • Use trauma-informed evidence-based programming to mitigate potential behavioral health impacts of the Flint Water Emergency on Flint youth and families.
  • Integrate evidence-based violence prevention programming to enhance ongoing community organization led activities to encourage youth at high risk for developing traumatic stress symptomatology toward empowerment and achievement pipelines rather than the school to prison pipelines.
  • Create a trauma-informed first responder community by providing trauma training to local police, first responders and correction officers.
  • Increase capacity for youth and families in the Flint community to support skill building and career opportunities to implement evidenced based programs.

Opportunities for Resilience

Using a community-engaged model that builds on past partnerships and experience, a Community Advisory Board was established. The purpose of the Flint ReCAST Community Advisory Board is to guide, empower, and promote the work of the ReCAST program in accordance with the specified five project goals, with an emphasis on the focused population of at-risk youth and families impacted by the Flint Water Emergency. The Community Advisory Board and its members is a multi-sector representation of diverse perspectives and experience in regard to supporting the community at large and the project’s focus area of at-risk youth.

The Flint ReCAST Community Advisory Board meets monthly and includes representation from Flint residents, youth serving community organizations, the health care community, academia, public safety and local institutions. A full member list of the Flint ReCAST Community Advisory Board is available above.

Programs and Practices

Flint ReCAST Community Advisory Board will review and select programs and practices through community driven processes. Strategies will include trauma-informed approaches applied in community engagement programs, evidence-based violence prevention, and trauma-informed behavioral health services, each being culturally and developmentally appropriate. Peer support models will be a priority consideration. Because of the Flint Water Emergency, the identification and capacity building of trauma-informed practices, including behavioral health resources has already begun.

Flint ReCAST intends to support family strengthening and youth engagement and resilience based on recommendation of the ReCAST steering and community committees, which will identify new and existing (in Flint) programs that are a good fit for Flint, and are evidence supported.

Connecting Kids to Coverage

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Health Care Coverage Outreach and Enrollment for Children and Adults

The Greater Flint Health Coalition’s Connecting Kids to Coverage program has been serving families in Genesee County since 2016, providing free one-on-one healthcare enrollment assistance into Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Flint Healthcare Coverage. GFHC’s Connecting Kids to Coverage team knows how important health insurance is to families and our Outreach and Enrollment Team is here to serve you and ensure all Genesee County Families have access to affordable healthcare.

  • Need help signing up for Medicaid for you or your family?
  • Have questions about your current health care plan?
  • Have you recently lost coverage?
  • Need help with your yearly health care coverage renewal?

You and your family may be eligible for free or low-cost health care coverage, and we are here to help. Contact an Outreach and Enrollment Coordinator to get your questions answered and get you and your family covered.

Call or Text 810-853-6458 or email coverage@flint.org for assistance and to get your family covered.


About the Program

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services awarded an initial three-year Cooperative Agreement to the Greater Flint Health Coalition (GFHC) in an effort to support eligible children in the Greater Flint area enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and to help connect children to available services. This award was in response to the public health emergency resulting from lead exposure related to the Flint water system.

As a result of this award, the GFHC launched the Connecting Kids to Coverage Outreach and Enrollment Program to support and coordinate Medicaid and CHIP outreach and enrollment efforts in Flint, Michigan. This effort not only includes children, but also addresses access to care services for pregnant women impacted by the Flint water system.

In 2019, the Greater Flint Health Coalition received a second three-year Cooperative Agreement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to further expand the Connecting Kids to Coverage Program across all of Genesee County to better serve residents with free enrollment and renewal assistance into Medicaid, CHIP, and Flint Healthcare Coverage.

With the help and support of partner organizations, GFHC leads strategies to improve and promote utilization and retention of expanded Medicaid benefits. Strategies include the engagement of disconnected youth, families with incomes between the 200-400% federal poverty level, school-age children and families for whom English is a second language, just to name a few. Various methods, including a coordinated service referral and delivery plan are utilized to further engage the community.

This award is part of activities authorized by bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act legislation. Such funding supports national activities aimed at identifying children who are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP and helping their families enroll and renew their coverage. These efforts have helped boost enrollment and have engaged a range of partners take steps to make outreach and enrollment a routine effort.

For more information on national Connecting Kids to Coverage efforts, please visit: https://www.insurekidsnow.gov/

State Innovation Model (SIM)

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The Greater Flint Health Coalition (GFHC) is one of five organizations chosen by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to lead the implementation of the State Innovation Model (SIM) within their communities. As the backbone organization for the Genesee Community Health Innovation Region (CHIR), the GFHC and its multisector partners are working to improve population health in Genesee County.

What is SIM?

SIM is a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center initiative that partners with states to advance multi-payer health care payment and delivery system reform models in an effort to achieve better quality of care, lower costs, and improved health outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries. The State of Michigan was one of eleven states awarded a four-year model test award, focused on implementing Michigan’s Blueprint for Health Innovation.

The vision for Michigan’s State Innovation Model is a person-centered health system that is coordinating care across medical settings, as well as with community organizations, to address social determinants of health to improve health outcomes; and pursue community-centered solutions to upstream factors of poor health outcomes. MDHHS is implementing the SIM initiative under three main umbrellas: population health, care delivery, and technology.

Community Health Innovation Regions

To address population health, MDHHS has funded five Community Health Innovation Regions (CHIRs) across the State. In addition to the GFHC’s Genesee CHIR, there are CHIRs in the Jackson, Muskegon, Northern Michigan and Livingston/Washtenaw County communities. CHIRs are broad partnerships of community organizations, local government agencies, businesses, healthcare providers, payers, and community members that collaborate to align and implement strategies to support population health.

SIM Priority Population

MDHHS has required Community Health Innovation Regions to focus on the SIM priority population of emergency department (ED) utilizers. The selection of this priority population is supported by the Genesee CHIR’s Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), adopted by Genesee County’s three hospitals and the GFHC. The GFHC and its stakeholders have defined this SIM priority population as:

1. High ED utilizers, or individuals using the ED five or more times in a year
2. “Inappropriate” ED utilizers, or individuals using the ED to receive care for conditions identified as typically treatable in a primary care setting; and
3. Preventable ED utilizers, or individuals using the ED who have not had a visit with their primary care provider in the previous year.

GFHC Clinical-Community Linkage Initiative

A primary goal set by MDHHS for each Community Health Innovation Region is to address non-medical factors that affect health, such as housing, transportation, and food insecurity, by supporting connections between primary care practices and community service providers, often referred to as clinical-community linkages. The Clinical Community Linkage Project is led by the Greater Flint Health Coalition, which has implemented a community “hub” model based on the early success of its Genesee Children’s Healthcare Access Program, or CHAP.

To achieve this goal of developing a functional clinical community linkage process, the GFHC has partnered with a variety of community stakeholders and institutions. These include, but are not limited to:

• Two local physician organizations: Professional Medical Corporation and McLaren Physician Partners;

• Genesee County’s six Medicaid Health Plans: Molina Healthcare, McLaren Health Plan, Meridian Health Plan, Blue Cross Complete, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, and HAP Midwest;

• Genesee County’s three hospitals: Hurley Medical Center, Ascension Genesys Hospital, McLaren Flint;

• Three community-based specialty hubs: Genesee CHAP, Genesee Health Plan, and Genesee Health System;

• The local regional health information exchange (HIE), Great Lakes Health Connect;

• A collective of community and social service organizations including: United Way of Genesee County, Catholic Charities, Carriage Town Ministries, Child Care Connect, Crossover Downtown Outreach Ministries, Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, Genesee County Community Action Resource Department (GCCARD), Mass Transportation Authority, My Brothers’ Keeper, Salvation Army, Shelter of Flint, Valley Area Agency on Aging, and YWCA of Greater Flint.

A newly launched Community Referral Platform is providing one platform linking participating practices, community-based specialty hubs, and community service agencies to support the needs of patients. Working together, the GFHC and its partners will address the upstream socio-economic factors affecting the health of Genesee County residents. An initial ten SIM-designated patient centered medical home (PCMH) practices are included in the Clinical Community Linkages pilot phase launch that began in November, 2017.

Genesee County Community Health Access Program (CHAP)

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The Community Health Access Program (CHAP) is a collaborative, community-based medical home improvement model intended to improve the health outcomes of individuals covered by Medicaid insurance (specifically children), while raising the quality of care, better utilizing resources, and decreasing costs.

Children, and in some cases adults,  are referred to CHAP by participating pediatric and family practices, Medicaid health insurance plans, Genesee County’s 2-1-1 system, or through self-referrals. A multidisciplinary CHAP team provides services to clients that include:

  • Linkages to community resources to address social determinant of health needs
  • Parent education
  • Health literacy
  • Asthma education and case management
  • Care coordination
  • Patient navigation
  • Interpretation and transportation services

The CHAP team works with providers offering assistance to:

  • Improve office efficiency
  • Decrease no-show rates
  • Meet medical home certification requirements
  • Conduct follow-up on emergency department utilization
  • Create linkages to community resources
  • Educate on clinical best practices
  • Develop data reports on CHAP eligible clients
  • Implement quality improvement projects focused on preventative services
  • Connect with other providers

CHAP also facilitates change at the system level in the effort to reduce the health disparities experienced by individuals insured by Medicaid improving quality and access to medical homes, reducing emergency department visits and hospital admissions, and improving the overall health outcomes for the clients it serves.

For additional information or to learn how you may participate in Genesee CHAP, please phone (810) 953-CHAP or email CHAP@flint.org.

Commit To Fit

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Commit to Fit is an ongoing health behavior improvement initiative that seeks to mobilize employers, schools, residents, neighborhoods, churches, and the community at-large to support and utilize a common message focused on healthier, more active lifestyles. Thus, the healthy messages of Commit to Fit are reinforced throughout the community, across settings where residents live, learn, work, and play.

The campaign promotes practical ways to increase health and wellness through simple daily choices. The Commit to Fit plan suggests 99 easy ways to better health, outlined in simple tools the community, businesses or your school can adopt and make their own. It also urges proper nutrition, hydration and rest as realistic ways to sneak healthy behaviors into your life.

Available resources include free fitness and nutrition education classes, materials and tools for individuals and employers to promote and maintain good health, and an online health behavior tracking website to monitor your health and wellness goals.

The broad support for the Commit to Fit movement relies on the shared use of the Commit to Fit messages by all Genesee County/Flint organizations or groups that are working to improve the practice of healthy behaviors. Using the common messaging of Commit to Fit, employers, schools, physicians, neighborhoods, churches and residents are all “spreading the word” throughout the community and – together – Commit to Fit is helping to build a more active, healthy community in which we can all live, learn, work, and play.

In 2011, the Michigan Department of Community Health selected the GFHC as one of six local coalitions to expand prevention activities and empower local residents to make healthy choices. The Commit to Fit campaign supports this through a common message focused on healthier, more active lifestyles in Flint and Genesee County.

Since its launch, Commit to Fit has expanded to develop and provide a number of associated community efforts including: Hosting an annual calendar of community-wide health and wellness challenges, Commit to Fit Project Healthy Schools, Commit to Fit Smart Bites, and the Commit to Fit Rethink Your Drink campaign. Additional Commit to Fit developed resources include: the Commit to Fit Breastfeeding Toolkit, the Commit to Fit Physician’s Toolkit and the Commit to Fit Employer-Based Comprehensive Wellness Toolkit. These resources can be downloaded for free at www.commit2fit.com or requested by mail or delivery by completing a materials order form.

Commit to Fit is free to all Genesee County / Flint residents and workers. Visit www.commit2fit.com today to join the movement and access all the resources Commit to Fit has to offer!