"Health disparities have a direct correlation to the cost of health care in our communities," said Kate Kohn-Parrott, GDAHC president and CEO. "In partnership with the Macomb County Health Department and Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, along with our other incredible partners, GDAHC seeks to provide individuals and families with the tools necessary to reduce obesity and diabetes. We as an organization are also looking forward to extending our reach into Macomb County with new partners."
The grant-funded program's goal is to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities related to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. GDAHC is partnering with the Macomb County Health Department and Henry Ford Macomb Hospital and will collaborate with ACCESS, the Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers, Michigan Business and Professional Association, the MSU Extension Center, Walgreens, and the YMCA. The work will take place in the communities of Eastpointe, Roseville and Warren, primarily.
"We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with GDAHC, Henry Ford Macomb Hospital and numerous community organizations to build the capacity of local public health and chronic disease prevention in Macomb County," said William Ridella, director/health officer for Macomb County Health Department. "Macomb County's population growth, diversity and areas of need provide a prime opportunity for innovative and collaborative approaches to improve the health and wellness of our residents and workforce."
While strides have been made, chronic diseases affect nearly 4 million Michiganders and cause more than 50,000 deaths annually, according to MDCH. In addition to the quality of life impact, the financial burden related to chronic disease accounts for $49.5 billion of an estimated $66 billion in annual health care spending.
"Henry Ford Macomb Hospital (HFMH) welcomes the opportunities this collaborative effort brings to enhance community-based efforts to help prevent and promote understanding of treatment of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension among Macomb County residents," said Barbara Rossmann, president and CEO of HFMH. "The Henry Ford Macomb Faith Community Nursing/Health Ministry and School Health Networks will leverage relationships to enhance and expand community benefit outreach activities. This grant provides an innovative and proven Centers for Disease Control (CDC) program and original, client centered teaching materials to aid clients in learning health related self-care, lifestyle changes and prevention strategies. Community health workers and their health teams will be given the assistance they need as they work toward measurable prevention and health improvement outcomes."
In efforts to reduce chronic disease, study after study indicates that risk factors are minimized when obesity is addressed. In Michigan, 65 percent of adults are either overweight or obese. Compared to the 20 percent of healthy-weight adults, 56 percent of obese adults have comorbid diagnoses of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.