A Community Health Assessment and Improvement Plan (CHA/CHIP) is a community-based assessment of health status and the factors affecting health, accompanied by a specific plan created by the community to improve health.
The Mid-Michigan District Health Department serves Clinton, Gratiot and Montcalm counties. The first CHA/CHIPs were created in these counties in 2012. Now, all three counties have teams working to assess these CHA/CHIPs and revise them based on the past three years of experience. The process in Gratiot County is called Live Well Gratiot. In Montcalm it is Healthy Montcalm. Clinton County is collaborating with Eaton and Ingham counties on a tri-county plan called Healthy! Capital Counties. Colorful logos developed to brand these projects are at the top of this post.
There were many bright spots in the data. For one thing, youth substance abuse including tobacco and alcohol continues to go down and marijuana has not started increasing as many had feared with the change in attitudes toward marijuana. Connecting Point has been highlighting the downward trend in teen pregnancy rates for some time, and that continues. Our three counties have very low homicide and assault rates as well. Finally, the three counties have very low infant mortality rates. This is a precious asset which we must nurture and try to understand better. We have high rates of family poverty, as mentioned, and many of the problems that come along with that. But our children are nonetheless getting a surprisingly healthy start in life.