Population Health Blog

Population Health Blog

Why It Matters

Republican leaders release poverty platform; housing coalition responds

By Dennis Archambault

The lack of low income housing — and funding to create new housing — has been well-documented and remains a critical determinant of health for vulnerable populations in the Detroit region. The pressure of mortgage foreclosure, bankruptcy from health care costs, and job loss can send people immediately into homelessness, notes Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLHC). “They face threats of eviction, poor housing conditions and are severely cost burdened, paying upwards of 80 percent of their income towards rent each month. The lack of affordable housing not only creates stress and negative outcomes for their children and families, it increases both poverty levels and costs to the federal government.”

An “anti-poverty agenda” introduced by the Republican members of the House of Representatives, includes an updated approach to funding low income housing. It ties accessibility to assistance to those willing to look for work and by prioritizing funding for those who really need it. Currently, according to the NLHC, 75 percent of homeowners. Yentel agrees with focusing housing aid to those most in need, while expresses skepticism around for the concept of requiring work-ability.

While offering hope that the Republican philosophy can translate into more efficient and effective resource allocation, and a willingness to collaborate, Yentel offers an advocates thoughtful reflection on the proposal, which is likely to factor into the Republican Party’s platform discussions in Cleveland. Check out the commentary at: http://nlihc.org/article/nlihc-update-republican-anti-poverty-agenda-statement-diane-yentel-nlihc-president-and-ceo.

Dennis Archambault is vice president, Public Affairs, for Authority Health.

Authority Health residents celebrate the future of medical training: Population Health

By Dennis Archambault

The future of medical training took a step forward in Detroit last night as Authority Health teaching health center residents received certificates of completion for the Population Health Certification program. This enhancement of the community-based residency training program is unique among residency programs, but important in preparing physicians to practice true community-centered care. While population health is increasingly becoming a topic of lectures and readings, a dedicated curriculum, group learning sessions, and a research project over two years reinforces the knowledge through experience. The ceremony last night may have been subtle, in terms of pomp and circumstance, but significant no less.

Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, an internist by training, sent a videotaped message of commendation for their achievement and the vision of Authority Health to extend its population health orientation to its residency program. Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, a public health physician, researcher, and director of the Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion, offered similar congratulatory remarks in person, underscoring the importance of practicing medicine outside “the walls” of health systems and within the community. He noted that physicians who practiced extended periods in communities tend to be happier. He also said that longevity of practice offers physicians an opportunity to gain a sense of place, and ultimately a sense of the people who inhabit the place, their morbidity, and ultimately their opportunities to become healthier.

Chris Allen, Authority Health CEO, and Dr. Phyllis Meadows, associate dean for Practice at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, who initiated a partnership to develop this program over years ago, also offered comments that reflected the significance not only of the individual physicians achievement, but what this means for medical training in the future.

As Dr. Benjamin noted, “Had you chosen not to do a community-oriented residency, your medical training would have been incomplete.” This certification was icing on the cake.

Dennis Archambault is vice president for Public Affairs at Authority Health.