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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: October 20, 2009
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 community.

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 another."

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.

  This article was taken from:
The Executive Report on Managed Care

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