A closer look at Community Health Services: Office of Community Benefit and Community Health Needs Assessment

November 30, 2021  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees

Michigan Medicine participates in community engagement and outreach throughout the state and the world.

The Office of Community Benefit and Community Health Needs Assessment (CB/CHNA) — which is housed within the Department of Community Health Services — is one part of how the organization showcases such community engagement and outreach within the State of Michigan.

Many of the outreach and engagement programs aid/assist many of the most vulnerable within our community. And collecting this information on a yearly basis aids Michigan Medicine in planning future outreach and engagement efforts, in addition to maintaining the institutional tax-exempt status.  

The other main piece of this team’s work is the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) which is usually completed every three years. In June 2021, UNITE, the collaboration between the three health systems (Michigan Medicine, St. Joe’s Ann Arbor and St. Joe’s Chelsea), collaboratively published the third Joint CHNA that highlighted three health priority areas: 1) Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders, 2) Obesity and Related Illnesses and 3) Preconceptual and Perinatal Health (including infant and maternal mortality).

Over the summer and into the fall, the UNITE collaborative wrote the implementation plan that shows how each health system will individually and jointly address the health priority areas. As part of the CHNA/IP, we approach the work through a lens of health equity and social determinants of health. In order to have increased impact in the priority areas, it is important to address the factors that affect people where they live, work and play.  

As part of previous Community Health Needs Assessment and IP, Michigan Medicine funded 27 projects that targeted at least one of the priority health areas and health equity or SDOH. Many funded projects showed success and adapted to the changing virtual/in-person world of COVID-19. 

Thank you to all of the grantees for their perseverance through these challenging times. As part of fiscal year 2022-24 CHNA/IP, Michigan Medicine has renewed its financial support commitment to fund programs and policies that drive toward greater impact in the three health priority areas by being both community-based and driven.

This future work will help create more equity within the county by improving the health of black infants and mothers, increasing food security, continuing to create treatment opportunities and access for those experiencing mental health crises or substance use disorders and to reduce social isolation within certain groups (e.g. mothers of young children, older adults, etc.), and many other community outreach and engaged programs and policies.  

If you would like to know more about the Office of CB/CHNA please check out its website at: https://www.med.umich.edu/comben/index.html 

For information on the CHNA/IP, please check its most recent plans at: https://www.uofmhealth.org/community-health-needs-assessment 

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