May 2013
In This Issue
Community Health Advocates Assist Ypsilanti Residents
WHI News
Other News
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Community Health Advocates Assist Ypsilanti Residents
Carolyn Graham
Carolyn Graham, Ypsilanti resident and Community Health Advocate (CHA) with Washtenaw County Public Health, has always been a volunteer.  "Being one of the oldest of over 30 grandchildren, I was taught to help the youngest members of our family as well as the greater community though volunteering at soup kitchens and food pantries."  
The Community Health Advocate program targets the population of the Gateway Community in Ypsilanti, a primarily African-American area, to address social factors that contribute to the health disparities of the residents.  The focus is on providing healthy food access including fresh fruits and vegetables; access to government-sponsored insurance programs such as Medicaid and CHIP; and providing emotional support for clients as they engage the health care delivery system.
Graham trained as a CHA almost two years ago along with her colleague, Stacie Davis. After receiving 15 hours of training in September 2011, both women have staffed farmers markets, health fairs and neighborhood festivals. 
They also volunteer at walk-in sites, including the Parkridge Community Center at 591 Armstrong (Wednesdays from noon to 2 p.m.) and the Washtenaw Community College Harriet Street Center (Fridays from noon to 1:45 p.m.), helping their clients learn to navigate the system to meet their health needs. 
Davis feels that "empowering my clients to take care of themselves and ultimately take care of their families and communities is the reason I am a Community Health Advocate". 

For more information about the Community Health Advocate program, please call Charles Wilson at (734) 544-2981.
Quick Links
Upcoming Member Meetings
4 - Safety Net Coordination (9-1030, CHRT) 
10 - Medicaid Work Group (9-11, United Way of Washtenaw County) 
10 - Primary Care Capacity (1-2, CHRT)
18 - Safety Net Coordination (9-1030, CHRT)
19 - Steering Committee (11:30-1, CHRT)
 8 - Medicaid Work Group (9-11:30, United Way of Washtenaw County)
8 - Primary Care Capacity (1-2, CHRT)
22 - Planning Group (1-3, Washtenaw Community College)
24 - Community Outreach & Dental Services Work Group (2-4, CHRT)
WHI News
Download the new WHI Informational Packet
Updated Health Insurance Coverage

Updated Health Insurance Coverage by County Subdivision
On the WHI member portal, you can find an updated packet of information about the Washtenaw Health Initiative, which includes the following:
  1. One-page description of the WHI
  2. List of Charter organizations
  3. WHI annual report for 2011 - 2012
  4. Updated data (pictured to the right)
The updated data shows the proportion of Washtenaw County residents under age 65 who are covered by what type of insurance (those who are 65 or over are covered by Medicare). New to this packet is the visual depiction of the approximately 25,000 currently uninsured residents and where they may acquire coverage beginning in January 2014. Nearly 11,000 people will be eligible for tax credits to assist with paying for private insurance premiums through the health insurance exchanges. Just over 8,000 people will become eligible for Medicaid if that program is expanded in Michigan. 

The county subdivision data is being used by the WHI Medicaid Outreach & Enrollment work group in their planning for outreach and enrollment efforts, which are gearing up over the summer ahead of the October 1, 2013 open enrollment date. 
Other News
WHI Leaders Educate County Small Business Owners about Affordable Care Act, Medicaid Expansion in Michigan

Rob Casalou, Norman Herbert, Marianne Udow-Phillips, and Doug Strong answer audience questions
On Monday, May 20, WHI member organization Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber hosted a breakfast for their members to educate and answer questions about provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The breakfast was sponsored by both St. Joseph Mercy Hospitals and the University of Michigan Health System. 

Rob Casalou, President & CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, Livingston, and Saline, welcomed more than fifty guests to the breakfast and made the case that expanding Medicaid is good for Michigan businesses. This echos the recent endorsement of Medicaid expansion from the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber, whose Vice President for Government Relations, Andy LaBarre, spoke at the event, and of which Mr. Casalou is a board member. Marianne Udow-Phillips, Director of the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation, then reviewed seven provisions of the Affordable Care Act that will impact small businesses. Norman Herbert, WHI Co-Chair, then gave an overview of the WHI and explained how Washtenaw County is preparing for 2014, when the Affordable Care Act will be fully implemented. Doug Strong, Chief Executive Officer of the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, wrapped up the event by taking audience questions.

Both the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Small Business Association of Michigan support the Medicaid expansion in Michigan, as do many other business and business advocacy groups throughout the state.
Share Your Story
Share your story ideas for the WHI newsletter with Carrie at (734) 998-7567 or
About the Washtenaw Health Initiative
The Washtenaw Health Initiative is a voluntary, county-wide collaboration focused on how to improve access to coordinated care for the low-income, uninsured, and Medicaid populations. The work of this group is on both how to improve care today for these priority populations and on 2014, when federal health care reform is expected to be more fully implemented. The effort includes representatives from the University of Michigan Health System, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, health plans, county government, community services, physicians, and safety net providers.

(734) 998-7567