Northwest Michigan is a region of “haves” and “have nots.”
Beautiful beaches, charming towns, wineries, and golf and ski resorts
disguise the poverty that lies inland.

Rural Community

Even considering the affluence in lakeside communities, 38% of 123,705 total households meet guidelines for poverty or struggle to afford basics like food, housing, and transportation, according to Michigan United Ways. Often working in low-wage, seasonal and/or part-time jobs in the tourism, manufacturing, or farming sectors, these residents tend to be vulnerable to poorer health outcomes.

The NMCHIR designed a web-enabled screening tool to identify individuals’ basic needs, determine if they would like assistance, and document consent for a referral to Community Connections, an integrated system of three clinical community linkages HUBs. Community Connections HUBs link the medical care system to social services, health departments, employers, schools (and others), and to one another to coordinate services for people who struggle with basic needs.

When it comes to getting sick or injured, many people automatically go the Emergency Department for care. Especially when it’s after normal business hours. But sometimes the ED isn’t the best place to go. The NMCHIR launched a campaign called Where for Care to help educate people on the best place to go for care when you are sick or injured.

There’s more to know

The NMCHIR is linking people to valuable resources through the
Community Connections HUB and the Emergency Department Education campaign.