Where people live, work, learn, play, and age powerfully influences health. In northern Michigan, our rural geography impacts health in ways that differ from more urban areas. Poverty, unemployment or underemployment, lack of affordable housing, and inadequate transportation make it difficult for residents to access health care, including mental health care and substance use disorders services. Furthermore, the region lacks broadband internet infrastructure which limits access to telehealth services. There is a great need for access to healthcare and social services in the region and no one organization can solve these problems alone.
The North Central Community Health Innovation Region (NCCHIR) Network is comprised of health departments, heath systems, mental health agencies, and community-based organizations and builds upon the expertise and knowledge of the Northwest Michigan Community Health Innovation Region. The NCCHIR has robust plans to address social and economic needs that impact health. These needs include economic security, housing, transportation, and food insecurity. Plans include developing a system of coordinated referrals to community resources to address the basic needs of vulnerable residents in our communities. The NCCHIR seeks out resident voice so that those we serve feel a true sense of belonging and engagement in their community.