Michigan is moving into its third year of a new model for improving community and personal health. This year officials said they’ll focus on some of the underlying reasons that people don’t always get the care they need.
Linda Yarochero is the Northern Michigan Community Health Innovation Region executive director. She said access to affordable housing, food, and transportation are some of the underlying problems which need to be addressed.
“If in fact a patient needed access to a food pantry and maybe there's not a food pantry in that particular community. So, now it becomes a transportation problem. The end result for that would be to plan for and seek a resource to put a food pantry in that community so that need would be met the next time around”.
Yarochero said some of the issues have relatively easy solutions.
“Walking trails or gyms or schools to be able to have people walk safely in the winter. All of those ideas are on the table and some of them really don’t cast that much. So, it’s just really about organizing them. So, that kind of the stage of the game we’re in right now is trying to evaluate that and then determine how to move them forward”.
Yarochero said Michigan’s model will begin offering a survey of each patient’s needs so that care providers can provide more accurate referrals and better service.