Community Needs Assessment

In a remarkable collaborative partnership, Northern Health Plan and three hospitals – Charlevoix Area Hospital, McLaren Northern Michigan, and Otsego Memorial Hospital – joined the Health Department of Northwest Michigan and District Health Department #4 in providing funding for robust community health assessment across the region we all serve.

Fifteen months later, we are proud to present this 2012 Community Health Assessment Report. It is a comprehensive collection and analysis of health status and needs in Alpena, Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Emmet, Mackinac, Montmorency, Otsego, and Presque Isle counties, with a special focus on Otsego and Montmorency counties. We’ve learned that too many of our residents, and especially low-income residents:

  • Are overweight or obese and don’t spend time engaged in physical activities;
  • Lack access to healthy food and recreational facilities in their communities;
  • Experience a variety of barriers to health care, including mental health services and substance abuse treatment; and
  • Abuse alcohol and drugs and use tobacco.

One thing is clear: Even the strongest partnerships among hospitals, health care providers, and health departments cannot improve community health alone. High school graduation rates, community planning and design, access to healthy foods and recreational activities, and air and water quality have as much, or greater, impact on health than seeing a doctor or nurse when we are sick.

Gathering a wealth of information, reviewing data, and setting priorities are only the first steps of our long-term community health improvement initiative. On behalf of the Northern Michigan Mobilizing for Action through Planning & Partnerships (MAPP) Executive Committee, we invite you to get involved. Please join us as we work together to improve health and quality of life for all Northern Michigan residents.

Northern Michigan 2012 Community Health Assessment (PDF)

Otsego Memorial Hospital’s Health Improvement Action Plan (PDF)