Sep 25, 2019 5:30 PM
Suzy Berschback & Mary Jo Harris - in the fo'c'sle
Beaumont Healthy Communities: Grosse Pointe & Harper Woods

To address the alarming trend in chronic disease, Beaumont is partnering with key community stakeholders to improve health one community at a time.

Healthy Communities is a place-based initiative that encourages residents to lead healthier lives - and provides resources to help. Its integrated framework coordinates primary healthcare, public health and community interventions; and emphasizes a shared responsibility for community health, while encouraging residents to take active roles in their own health.

Each Healthy Community is a partnership between Beaumont, the city’s mayor and the city’s public school superintendent. Individual Healthy Communities feature formalized coalitions with membership including residents and representatives of local government, schools, business, health care, social service, faith based and other community organizations. Coalition members work collaboratively to optimize the reach of existing programs; and support development of new programs, events and land use that promote healthy living in their community.

Four guiding principles drive strategies for improvements within Healthy Communities:

  • Address community health needs through partnerships.
  • Implement large scale interventions in multiple settings.
  • Reach diverse population groups in order to promote health equity.
  • Make interventions sustainable.

The Healthy Communities philosophy maintains that sustainable change must come from the ground up. Because each community has its own distinct culture and resources, coalition members develop programs and strategies to fit the unique needs and assets of their own community. The coordinated, collective impact approach taken by each coalition allows individual members to have a greater influence on the health of their community than they would achieve by acting individually.

A Healthy Communities Leadership Coalition was also launched in early 2015 to bring together leaders from all sectors committed to driving health improvement forward in Wayne County. Through goals and strategies that synchronize initiatives and resources, the coalition strives to have the greatest impact on health and wellness in our communities through collective impact.