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.

We are proud to present this 2015 Community Health Assessment Report. It is a comprehensive collection and analysis of health status and needs in Antrim, Cheboygan, Montmorency, and Otsego counties. We’ve learned that too many of our residents, and especially low-income residents:

  • Experience difficulty with management and prevention of chronic disease, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes;
  • Experience a variety of barriers to accessing and receiving health care;
  • Are at risk for obesity, diabetes, and other serious lifelong health issues, especially new mothers and young children; and
  • There are limited resources to work with new mothers and young children to understand how to develop and maintain healthy habits for a lifetime.

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, teen birth 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. We invite you to review our 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment and Health Improvement Plan listed below.