Access to Health Committee

(Past Committee, 2001-2010)

The Access to Health Committee engages the community in an ongoing process of analyzing health data and developing health resources to improve the health of uninsured people. In 2001, the Access Committee published an Action Plan for an Organized System of Care for the Capital Area, updated in 2002 with the publication of Community Briefing 2002, and updated again in September 2004 with the promulgation of the Access to Healthcare Committee’sCommunity Briefing 2004, whose plans are the product of years of interviews, learning sessions, focus groups and validation by several hundred residents of the Greater Lansing area. The current Action Plan for Improving Access to Health and Health Care in the Capital Area is due for publication soon.

Committee Sponsor-Ingham County Health The Access to Health Committee continues to pursue goals defined by its 2007 Action Plan: 1) to create the community will to expand and stabilize funding mechanisms that assure access to health care for all; 2) to sustain and stabilize the use of grassroots advocates and outreach workers to connect people to health resources; 3) to assert and demonstrate a unified concept of health linking primary care, oral health, mental health, and substance abuse treatment; and 4) to advance health equity—a fair, just distribution of the social opportunities and social resources needed to achieve well-being. 

Through the leadership of the Ingham County Health Department (ICHD), the committee sponsored over 20 additional community dialogues on the documentary series Unnatural Causes—Is Inequality Making Us Sick? The Committee will use findings from these dialogues to launch a number of new community initiatives aimed at increasing health equity, including a Health Equity Youth Academy to be conducted in partnership with the Ingham Change Initiative, and training in community organizing. Through the Social Justice Dialogue Project funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, ICHD held six four-day workshops in Social Justice and Health Equity for health department employees and community members. An additional twelve workshops will be offered in 2010. Email for additional information.

In 2009, the Committee also investigated recent attempts to pass health care millage proposals in Genesee, Bay, and Saginaw Counties. While only the Genesee campaign was successful, others were only narrowly defeated, suggesting that such an effort might succeed in Ingham county, with its rich history of supporting progressive mechanisms to cover the uninsured, largely through the Ingham Health Plan. The Access Committee will continue to explore this possibility in 2010 in collaboration with the Ingham County Board of Commissioners and the Ingham Health Plan Corporation Board.