|Kellogg Foundation Grant Will Help A Michigan County Transform Its Healthcare Delivery
With 10 percent of its adult population diabetic, 40
percent pre-diabetic, and 70 percent overweight or obese, Calhoun
County, Michigan, is a challenge for any healthcare system. Enter the
Calhoun County Pathways to Health Initiative, which is working to
transform the delivery of essential healthcare services across the
The Pathways to Health Initiative is another step closer
to that goal thanks to a recently announced $98,000 grant from W.K.
Kellogg Foundation. The three-year funding will help physician
practices learn from national experts how to create a patient-centered
healthcare system. To that end, these practices will participate in a
year-long learning collaborative that will help them redesign their
approaches to providing healthcare.
"The team-based approach encourages patients to be
actively involved in their care," said Dr. Mary Ellen Benzik, medical
director of Integrated Health Partners (IHP), which created the Calhoun
County Pathways to Health Initiative in 2006 along with the Battle
Creek Health System. "In addition to individual physician practices,
caregivers across the healthcare continuum will be able to improve the
patient-focused process from one healthcare provider or setting to
Intensifying the local health challenge is the fact
racial and ethnic minority populations are disproportionally impacted
by chronic disease, leading to significant healthcare disparities
within the community. This affects not just the quality of life for
these citizens, but their ability to hold jobs and the well-being of
the entire community.
"These challenging health issues are further complicated
by a broken healthcare delivery system," added Ruth Clark, executive
director of IHP. "The Calhoun County Pathways to Health initiative is a
multi-stakeholder endeavor designed to transform the delivery of
healthcare in our community. This change will lead to improved health,
decreased cost and hospitalizations, and decreased complications from
chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease."
Pathways to Health engages patients and healthcare
providers to find solutions to local healthcare problems. It has
received national awards and recognition for its innovative
collaborative approach to the complex issues of healthcare delivery.
Address: Integrated Health Partners, 165 Washington Ave. N, Battle Creek, MI 49017; (269) 660-3850.