Wayne County Department of Public Health

Contact Information

Website: http://jointcenter.org/hpi/pages/wayne-county-mi
Contact Person: Ruta Sharangpani
Contact Info: rshangpani@waynecounty.com


The Wayne County Department of Public Health is one of sixteen PLACE MATTERS teams that work to identify the complex root causes of health disparities and work to define strategies to address them. The county has been a team member since June 2006.

Organizational Partners

Partners involved in health equity work with Wayne County include: Wayne County Health and Human Services, Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion, Michigan Department of Community Health, Wayne State University, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Detroit Environmental Justice, State and local development, Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System, Oakwood Health System, Michigan Public Health Institute ? Child Death Review, MOSES, St. John Health Systems, and Tomorrow's Child.

Activities & Objectives

One of the first steps of Wayne County was to disseminate a "White Paper" to inform stakeholders of the problem of infant mortality and to increase community dialogue about the need to improve pre-conception and inter-conception health and to value womanhood. A Place Matters Design Lab was hosted to explore the relationship between race, racism, and health inequities and explore strategies to address structural racism and social determinants of health. The county health department also provided training on how to conduct Health Impact Assessments (HIAs), which examine the impact of existing or proposed policies impacting infant mortality. Wayne County was one of the first counties to do this work.

The department's work includes changes in policy form the Health Impact Assessments, which provide information to policy-makers to avoid unexpected or unfair impacts of proposed policies.