Michigan Universal Health Care Access

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Michigan Universal Health Care Access Network (MichUHCAN) is a state-wide network that promotes comprehensive health care for all and improved health outcomes by addressing the social determinants of health through education, strategy development and advocacy.

In fulfillment of our mission MichUHCAN:
•Is a consistent voice for justice in health care and public policies that promote equitable health outcomes
•Advocates for increased health care access at the local, state and national level
•Works with diverse groups that adhere to the principles defining a health care system that is universal, available regardless of ability to pay, comprehensive, cost efficient; and that eliminates disparity in access and outcomes, provides parity for mental health care, provides continuity of care, insures quality through evidence-based care, protects consumer choice and is easy to use.

Muskegon Community Health Project

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The Muskegon Community Health Project has a new website: www.equalhealthforall.com. The website contains information about health inequities and stories of how Muskegon is working to remove barriers so that everyone can have a chance to live a healthy life.

Here is a excerpt from the Healing Stories section of the website.

Health Disparities Where You Live:
Health disparities can arise from issues that may seem trivial for many Americans. However, lacking basic transportation or easy access to a health clinic can be a major obstacle to a healthy life.

In the case of a pregnant, single African American woman in Muskegon, lack of adequate transportation meant an inability to make prenatal care appointments at the clinic several miles away from her home. The low-income woman did not own or have access to a vehicle, and because she was new to the area she did not know anybody who owned a vehicle. Her only means of travel to and from the clinic was the public bus system.

She worked a minimum wage job within walking distance to her house, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, further making appointment times difficult to get to because of scheduling conflicts with the bus system and the clinic.The bus route for the trip was long and non-direct, requiring a change of busses along the way. On two occasions this resulted in late arrivals to the clinic causing the woman to miss her scheduled appointment times. Because of this, her visits often lasted several hours each as she had to be •worked-in• between other patients.

The woman mentioned her frustrations and transportation problems to a co-worker who contacted a local human services agency known for assisting people with transportation needs. Volunteers for the agency offered to transport the woman to and from the clinic throughout the length of her pregnancy and for postnatal care following the delivery of the child.

HEM: MDCH Capacity Building Grant

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The Health Disparities Reduction and Minority Health Section (HDRMHS) Capacity Building Grant program was designed as a two phase-four year grant project to promote collaboration between Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), local public health, community- and faith-based organizations, and other local entities to achieve health equity for Michigan•s racial and ethnic populations. The goal for Phase-I of the Capacity Building Grant program was to fund planning and training activities that promote the overall goal of building local capacity and mobilizing communities to address the root causes (social determinants) of health disparities and increase awareness of the linkages between social determinants of health, health disparities, and health equity. Applicants focused on one or more of the following activities:

Improving racial/ethnic/ preferred language data collection

Developing sustainable effective partnerships and programs to improve
racial/ethnic health inequities

Improving social determinants of health to eliminate racial/ethnic inequities through public education and evidence-based community interventions

HDRMHS, through a competitive application and objective review process, awarded funding to 16 of the 21 applicants ranging from $20,000-$30,000 to participate in Phase I of the Capacity Building Grant program. Strategies implemented in Phase-I of the Capacity Building Grant project included developing multi-sectored partnerships, conducting needs assessments, participating in health equity trainings, and creating program implementation plans for the second through fourth years of the grant. The efforts in Phase I of the grant resulted collectively in 171 committed health equity partners from the community and various organizations. Also, 13 of the 16 funded entities submitted proposals to move forward with Phase-II of the Capacity Building Grant program. Overall success of Phase-I resulted in 7 organizations receiving grant funding in Phase II (January 1, 2011- September 30, 2013) for up to $55,000 each year over a three- year period to implement sustainable multi-leveled programming focused on evidence-based, community focused initiatives designed to address racial and ethnic health inequities. Organizations that were funded include: Asian Center – Southeast Michigan, Berrien County Health Department, Grand Rapids African American Health Institute, Muskegon Community Health Project, National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, St. John Community Investment Corporation, and Washtenaw County Public Health.

The Legacy of the Ban on Affirmative Action in Michigan

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Last week,  the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments to determine whether a Michigan ban on using race-based affirmative action in college admissions violates the equal protection rights of people of color. Michigan Roundtable has convened sessions with supporters of affirmative action, academics and political campaign experts to examine the aftermath of other affirmative action ballot proposals. Read what the Michigan Roundtable has discovered.