Western UP Health Department

Leading The Community Toward Better Health

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Close up photo of a medical history questionnaire

The health data reports listed below contain findings from the regional community health needs assessment conducted in 2017-2018 by Western U.P. Health Department, in collaboration with 31 community partners. The assessment covers the 15 counties of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the rural, rugged and remote home to more than 300,000 residents.

Data for the community health needs assessment were gathered from a wide array of published sources, from a survey of 4,820 residents of the 15 counties, and from health care providers. External, or secondary, data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau and its American Community Survey, as well as statistics compiled by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other government and private agencies.

The regional adult health survey was the most ambitious and unique element of this project. A shortcoming of national and state health surveys is that the samples are designed to represent the national or state population as a whole. This means that in small population cohorts, like Upper Peninsula counties, not enough residents are included in the sample to make reasonable annual estimates at the county level. The addition of local survey data to this report helps us understand the health needs of our residents more thoroughly and measure changes over time.

The survey was patterned after the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey conducted by the CDC and state health departments. In consultation with our partners, additional topics were included in the local survey, including questions on mental health, substance abuse, access to care, dementia and elder care, and a section for ranking the perceived importance of 16 broad community health issues.

Western U.P. Health Department thanks the many people and organizations who backed this project and generously contributed their time and encouragement. And above all, a debt of gratitude is owed the nearly 5,000 U.P. residents who completed the lengthy health survey in the service of improving community health. May we honor their contributions by working together for healthier communities.

Links to Assessment Documents:

Below are links to the full 350-page report, and to 15 County Dashboards, which are 2-page summaries of health data at the county level. The County Dashboards can be printed, two-sided and in color, and used as handouts at focus groups and community meetings.