Annual Report Sheds Light on Health Trends in West Michigan

You can’t set goals to improve if you don’t know where you’re starting from.

Just as January brings personal resolutions, leaders in the West Michigan health care field will soon gather to take stock of health-related trends, challenges and opportunities that exist in Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon and Allegan (KOMA) counties.

The annual West Michigan Healthcare Economic Forecast will be presented on Friday, Jan. 13 at Grand Valley State University’s (GVSU) Eberhard Center. The event is free and open to the public, although registration is required.

Kevin Callison and Leslie Muller, professors of economics from the Seidman College of Business, will present the findings of Health Check, an annual health-related study focusing on knowledge foundations and health care trends. The report also provides economic analysis based on data compiled by insurance providers Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Care Network, and Priority Health.

The report provides data to community decision makers in health care services, government, business, and education to aid in planning and policymaking supporting the West Michigan community. Demographic changes, rates related to alcohol abuse and smoking, as well as how health care costs in the region compare to other comparable places in the country will be discussed.

A panel discussion will also feature Tina Freese-Decker, president, Spectrum Health Hospital Group; Nick Lyon, director, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services; Dr. David Blair, President and Chief Medical Officer of Mercy Health Physician Partners of Grand Rapids; and Jim McDonald, vice president Total Rewards, Meijer.

“Health-related challenges will continue locally, statewide, and nationally requiring communities to come together in addressing the education, protection, and health care needs of an expanding population with a growing elderly segment,” wrote Jean Nagelkerk, GVSU vice Provost for Health, in the introductory letter to the Health Check report. “West Michigan has a strong tradition of collaborative community engagement to develop strategies for improvement of healthcare for our community while also conserving valuable healthcare resources.”

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Photo credit: Dr. Farouk

 

 

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