Over 30 community members gathered at HYPE Athletics Wayne on September 23 for Oakwood/Beaumont Hospital’s Healthy Wayne Initiative Kick-Off. After enjoying a breakfast of fresh fruit, yogurt, granola bars and water, attendees listened to a presentation by Betty Priskorn, Corporate Director of Community Health and Outreach as she explained what this program involves. Wayne is one of four cities participating in the Healthy Communities Initiative. Trenton, Taylor and Dearborn are the other three.
The Healthy Wayne Initiative will support and promote health, wellness and healthy lifestyles. Of the 83 counties in Michigan, Wayne county ranks the lowest in the state in health outcomes and health factors.
The steering committee for the Healthy Communities Initiative determined that the priority health needs for our communities are cardiovascular, diabetes, obesity and access to care (including health insurance and having a medical home).
What is a Healthy Community? First, there is an emphasis on shared responsibility for the health of the community. Second, it is recognized that each community has its own distinct culture, resources, dynamics, as well as different economic and social landscapes. Third, the strategies and programs developed will fit the unique assets and needs of the specific community. Finally, mayors, city councils, school superintendents and boards sign a memorandum of understanding that health will be considered in all decisions.
The Healthy Community guiding principles are to:
• Create a compelling vision based on shared values.
• Embrace a broad definition of health and well-being.
• Address quality-of-life for everyone.
• Engage diverse citizen participation and be citizen-driven.
• Foster collaboration and partnerships with healthcare, government agencies, education, organizations and businesses.
• Acknowledge the social determinants of health and the interrelationship of health and other issues.
• Address issues through collaborative problem-solving.
• Focus on system change.
• Recognize and develop assets and resources in the community.
• Measure and benchmark progress and outcomes.
Oakwood/Beaumont wants to get businesses involved in the health of the community. A healthy Wayne would include walkability and access to healthy and affordable food. Oakwood already sponsors the Farmer’s Market. They also have cooking classes called “Cooking Matters” and a grocery store tour program where an individual can learn how to read labels, find healthy food and at the end of the tour, get a $10 challenge card to buy food. Eventually, Oakwood wants to have program for all ages. “We want to make Wayne a desirable community to live in,” Betty Priskorn stated.
The next Healthy Wayne meeting will be October 22 at HYPE. Plan to be there to learn more and share your ideas on how to make Wayne healthier.