Best Practices

The following responses were received from seven organizations: Berrien County Health Department, Detroit Healthy Start, Dispute Resolution Center, Genesee County Health Department, Ingham County Health Department, Kent County Health Department, and Saginaw County Health Department.

ICHD Best Practices

Social Determinants of Health

Doak Bloss, Health Equity and Social Justice Coordinator, Ingham County Health Department

Inter-Tribal Council of MI Best Practices

Maternal Child Health

Elizabeth Kushman, Program Director for Maternal Child Health, Inter-Tribal Council

Kent County Health Department's Best Practices Video

Kent County Health Department's Best Practices Video

Karyn Pelon, Kent County Health Educator

Best Practices by County

Berrien County

  • Engaging BCHD staff and community members in a dialogue about the root causes of health inequalities (supported by the Social Justice/Health Equity grant through Ingham County) has helped staff and community members to see true reasons why disparities exist and encouraged work towards sustainable solutions.
  • Community Photovoice has empowered community members through participatory-based action research, has allowed the community to see how their environment affects their health, and has been a useful discussion tool for presentations and groups across the country.

Detroit Healthy Start

  • In partnership with Wayne County Great Start, DHS developed 'A Healthy Baby Begins With You' speaker's bureau, which included a community education power point, training for presenters, and a manual to raise awareness about infant mortality, racial disparities, roots of disparities, and everyone's roles in addressing the problems.

Dispute Resolution Center

  • Best practices include partnerships with other organizations and grantors to maximize resources and capabilities of the grantees to meet requirements of grants.
  • DRC members have learned to adapt each model to each novel situation to address diversity issues in one's community.

Genesee County REACH

  • Anti-racism awareness and education across multiple sectors, including, Undoing Racism Workshops that have changed individual's perspectives and enhanced knowledge of racism to motivate actions to reduce health disparities.
  • Addressing the connections between racism and infant mortality from a historical and cultural perspective through the Genesee County intervention is designed to challenge racial stereotypes and change the thinking, feelings, and behaviors of participants, including reducing internalized racism. The intervention also encourages participants to combat racial victimization through coping mechanisms such as positive racial identification, self-affirmation and empowerment, and community support.
  • The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Tool (PRAT), an original, enhanced perinatal assessment tool created for the Genesee County community that facilitates standardized, evidence based, perinatal assessment of high-risk women across institutions.
  • Windshield Tours, which are bus tours through neighborhoods where high-risk clients reside, improve understanding of the social conditions of women and families to providers, administrators, and policymakers. These tours have resulted in clinic adaptations to better accommodate clients and has prompted successful advocacy for structural changes.
  • Community Health Advocates are part of a health outreach team for pregnant and childbearing women and their families. These CHA's facilitate access to clinical care and community resources, direct outreach services, and have resulted in improved birth outcomes in Genesee County.
  • Sustained community engagement and mobilization has increased participation of 'non-traditional' partners, such as African American men.

Ingham County

  • Adoption of a health equity lens for daily practices through four-day, dialogue-based workshops, which are mandatory for all employees. Dialogue is an important tool for navigating the difficult issues of racism, class oppression, and gender discrimination, which need to be addressed explicitly to change practices.

Kent County

  • Through a partnership with Healthy Kent 2020, Strong Beginnings and the Woodrick Diversity Learning Center, the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) provides two day Health Equity Social Justice Dialogue Workshops to all KCHD employees as well as community partners. This workshop is based off of Ingham County Health Department's Social Justice Dialogue Workshops.
  • The Kent County Health Department is creating Health Equity Standards to be utilized by all KCHD employees with current and new program planning and implementation.
  • With their partners, KCHD created the "Framing the Relationship Between Race & Health" toolkit. This toolkit is being utilized by maternal and child health professionals as well as other community partners.
  • The Responding to Racism Action Team (as part of Healthy Kent 2020) meets regularly to address racism and it's affect on health outcomes. The Action Team is currently developing a Community Plan of Action to Address Health Inequities in Kent County. This Plan of Action is being derived from community stakeholder input that was gathered at a Health Equity Forum.
  • The Kent County Health Department developed a Health Equity website to highlight current Health Equity work and resources.
  • The Kent County Health Department and their partners developed a video titled, "Framing the Social Determinants of Health in Kent County" by capturing local neighborhood footage along with various interviews.

Saginaw County

  • Through providing community forums and health equity trainings, Saginaw County has unified service professions to improve health in the county.
  • The most successful of these gatherings was with the convening of Great Beginnings Healthy Start Program past and present participants to discuss, in focus groups, their experiences in the health care setting regarding racism and then sharing their responses with medical providers.