WUPHD Receives Grant for Community Health Improvement Planning

Western U.P. Health Department received a $65,000 grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation at a press conference held Tuesday, June 5, 2018 in Houghton. WUPHD is one of 14 newly awarded grantees from across the Upper Peninsula from BCBSM Foundation’s “Investing in U.P. Health” program. WUPHD Community Health Promotion and Education Director Ray Sharp accepted the grant for the Health Department from Audrey J. Harvey, MPH, CPH, BCBSM Foundation Executive Director and CEO.

In brief remarks, Sharp thanked Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation , on behalf of Western U.P. Health Department and more than 30 partners in regional community health assessment and health improvement planning, including local health departments, hospitals and clinics, mental health agencies, substance abuse treatment providers, regional planning agencies, and health foundations.

Sharp said this month marks the mid-point of a three-year process as WUPHD wraps up an 18-month, 15-county health needs assessment project and make plans to publish and disseminate the findings. With this new investment by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation in Upper Peninsula health, the Health Department will create county-level handouts and slide shows highlighting local health data; co-host focus groups with local health departments and hospitals to report assessment findings to stakeholders including health providers, local officials, consumers and advocates; lead communities in selecting priorities for health improvement and following a framework for developing SMART objectives for specific and measureable health improvement initiatives; reach consensus on Healthy U.P. 2025 Goals that can inspire and focus future collaborative efforts; and institutionalize ongoing three-year cycles of assessment, planning, improvement and evaluation so that Upper Peninsula communities can measure progress and identify new community health priorities.