Michigan Medicaid enrollment - billboard from the Jewish Fund and Detroit Wayne County Health Authority

What We Do

Health Resources – Detroit Wayne County

The Detroit Wayne County Health Authority strengthens the health network for underserved populations by promoting health insurance enrollment and navigation, primary care service expansion, and health workforce development. Its focus is on enhancing population health through linking existing health resources – Detroit Wayne County’s and Federal – and filling gaps with programs and services.

Health Insurance Enrollment and Navigation

Our community outreach services help people enroll in health insurance plans through the federal healthcare marketplace and Medicare, Healthy Michigan, and traditional Medicaid. We engage our communities from informational programs and at health fairs to ensure that people are connected to the health system through some form of insurance coverage. We also help them understand how to navigate the system.

Coordinating and Developing Primary Care and Prevention Resources

The Health Authority has the capacity for convening critical services to fill gaps in the health network. The Primary Care Network Council was established to create a forum for community health centers, free clinics, independent providers, academics, and community health advocates. This Council has created a primary care expansion plan based on service availability and population trends; collaboration around the initial drive to promote enrollment in the Healthcare Marketplace and Healthy Michigan; and support for federal grants.

While the advent of the Affordable Care Act is increasing demand for primary care providers, much of the reason is the high volume of chronic disease in the community. We believe that the community needs to move from health care reform to health reform, embracing the wellness model. The Health Authority has proposed development of a wellness center network in Detroit and Wayne County, through specialized approaches to disease entities, such as a focus on diabetes or arthritis, and populations, such as maternal health or geriatrics.

At the same time, there are critical gaps in the health care market that are not serving critical need, such as in the area of maternal health. Detroit and Wayne County suffer from high rates of poor birth outcomes. The Health Authority initiated a Nurse-Family Partnership for first-time mothers, and a community-based nurse midwifery program to provide personalized, high quality maternity health care where no care would have been provided.

We look for opportunities to connect various educational resources and services around specific challenges, such as childhood obesity. The MOTION Coalition represents agencies that share an interest in reducing childhood obesity through public policy, development and distribution of nutritional education, and promoting fitness activities.

Health Data Analytics and Other Services

Planning and development of health resources requires accurate and comprehensive data with perceptive analysis. The Health Authority’s data analytic resources are available to assist providers understand trends and create solutions. The Health Authority has convened public health resources throughout Wayne County to create a health improvement plan that will have geo-code data analytics for more efficient and effective service delivery.

Workforce Development

There is a growing need for primary care providers, particularly in traditionally underserved areas like Detroit. The Health Authority sponsors the nation’s largest community-based teaching health center program, Authority Health GME, which trains 85 physicians in six primary care specialties in medically underserved communities where they are more likely to remain than if they trained in hospitals, which is the traditional site for graduate medical education.

In addition, the Health Authority’s Professional Services Division provides physicians, nurse clinicians, nurse midwives, and other health professionals to community health centers and other practice settings.

Realizing that the provider shortage isn’t a short-term fix, the Health Authority, together with other health career advocates, promote interest and educational development among elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as create a service learning environment for graduate students in health administration.

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