West Michigan Checkup: Annual Event Sets Course for Regional Health Priorities

West Michigan Checkup: Annual Event Sets Course for Regional Health Priorities

Leaders in the West Michigan health care field will gather to take stock of health 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. 12 at Grand Valley State University’s (GVSU) Eberhard Center. The event is free and open to the public, although registration is required.

Findings from Health Check, an annual report focusing on industry and population health trends, will be presented at the event. Demographic changes, rates related to alcohol abuse and smoking, and information about regional health care costs are included in the study. New this year is data from a VoiceKent survey, which asked Kent County residents about their health insurance coverage, health care affordability and barriers to getting care.

A panel discussion will focus on trends in West Michigan health care and feature Dr. Peter Hahn, chief medical officer, Metro Health/University of Michigan Health; Earle (Win) Irwin, chair of the board of directors, Irwin Seating Holding Company; and Nick Lyon, director, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“We hope that continuing to provide this data annually will facilitate a better understanding of how health behaviors, growth trends, and health care access can impact our decisions and strategies for addressing health care issues in our region,” wrote Jean Nagelkerk, GVSU vice provost for health, in the introductory letter to the Health Check report.

“We believe that continued development of strong collaborations across sectors can help us to provide cost-effective, patient centered care, reduce social barriers, and develop a population health strategy that leads to improved outcomes,” Nagelkerk continued.

Register for this year’s West Michigan Healthcare Economic Forecast here.

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Photo credit: Jinx!

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