LANSING, Mich. –Ingham County Health Department (ICHD) and Capital Area Health Alliance (CAHA) have been awarded a $400,000 grant to create a Health Equity Council (HEC) in Ingham County and are inviting county residents to apply to become a Council member.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted racial and ethnic minorities throughout Ingham County. There is significant work to be done to reduce disease transmission and infection in these populations. To address these disparities, ICHD and CAHA are establishing a regional Health Equity Council made up of both people who live in Ingham County and community organizations that are experienced in working with minority populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
“We are excited to support the HEC in building and strengthening the capacity of local communities to develop, adopt, and implement strategies to decrease the disparities associated with COVID-19 and other health outcomes for racial and ethnic minority populations,” said Linda Vail, Ingham County Health Officer.
The HEC will focus on areas to reduce COVID-19 disparities such as identifying and overcoming barriers in prevention, providing resources, and addressing social determinants of health (e.g., low income, food insecurity, access to primary care), and trust-building efforts aimed at minority population groups at higher risk of contracting – and dying from – COVID-19.
“This one-of-a-kind project will allow our community to address the adverse effects of social determinants of health through a measured and collaborative effort, ensuring “resident voice” is heard throughout the entire process,” said Jason Blanks, Executive Director of CAHA.
The Council will meet once or twice a month through May 2023. Council goals will include identifying strategies to meet community needs and granting funds to community organizations to reduce and eliminate COVID-19 inequities in Ingham County.
To apply, contact Dana Watson, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-512-3074. The Health Equity Council is seeking 3 individuals and members will be financially compensated for their time.
Grant funding is being provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Office of Equity and Minority Health in partnership with the Michigan Public Health Institute.