Tri-county health departments and hospitals release assessment and plan to improve local health

Local health organizations, including Eaton Rapids Medical Center (ERMC), are pleased to announce the release of Healthy! Capital Counties 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment, an assessment and prioritization of community-wide health compiled to encourage collaborative, data-driven decision-making and policies in the tri-counties.

The report has two major components. The first is an assessment of the current state of community health in Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties. The second is the identification of regional community health priorities. The priorities were identified by health and human service organizations and community members from across the region following the assessment. These priorities will guide many local community health efforts over the next three years.

The Healthy! Capital Counties health priorities for 2019-2021 are:

  1. Behavioral Health
  2. Health Care Access and Quality
  3. Obesity
  4. Financial Stability and Economic Mobility
  5. Chronic Disease

“We have found that completing this health assessment with Healthy! Capital Counties has been a very valuable process that has led to long-term collaboration with the project partners,” remarked Lindsay Peters, ERMC Director of Marketing. “It has also led to more strategic use of hospital time and resources. We can adapt our programs and services to meet the needs outlined in the priorities.”

Guided by the health priorities, community partners will work to improve local health outcomes over the next three years. Many organizations use Healthy! Capital Counties to guide their organization’s action plans and funding priorities.

Key findings in the 2018 assessment include:

  1. Compared to the state, the tri-county area is doing worse on measures of adult obesity, adult smoking, and adolescent mental health.
  2. There was a significant increase in adult obesity in the region. It rose from 23.9% to 33.6% over the past few years.
  3. Compared to the state, the tri-county area is doing better on measures of access to primary health care providers and preventable hospitalizations.
  4. All areas of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties have experienced an increase in the number of adults 18-64 years of age with health insurance coverage.

The community health assessment is conducted every three years. The report uses quantitative data, such as that pulled from vital records and other sources, and qualitative data, such as that gathered during focus groups and community surveys, to form a complete picture of community health that goes beyond health care. It includes social factors like affordable housing and education, and also more traditional health outcome measures, such as mortality and chronic disease rates.

Healthy! Capital Counties partners include: Barry-Eaton District Health Department, Ingham County Health Department, Mid-Michigan District Health Department, Sparrow Health System, McLaren-Greater Lansing, Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital, and Eaton Rapids Medical Center. The 2018 assessment is the third report produced by the Healthy! Capital Counties consortium.

To access the 2018 Healthy! Capital Counties report, visit

Article posted on January 8th, 2019.