Livonia-based Trinity Health will invest $80 million over the next five years in grants and services that focus on policy, systems, and environmental changes that aim to reduce tobacco use and obesity, while addressing other health issues.
“This program will help us advance health and quality of life by addressing the root causes of poor health,” says Dr. Bechara Choucair, senior vice president of safety net and community health at Trinity Health. “It represents a transformation in the way we will reach people in our communities, but for those who are impacted by the program, it will mean so much more.”
Choucair says the grants will provide six community partnerships with up to $500,000 per year for up to five years to develop community-specific plans to address childhood obesity, healthy living, and smoking; ongoing technical, planning, and investment assistance; and learning opportunities that will support program expansion. In the second phase of the program, Choucair says low-interest investment loans will support interventions related to social determinants of health, such as access to food, housing circumstances, and early childhood issues.
Fifty AmeriCorps members will be trained as community health coordinators to provide health care navigation services to at-risk populations and individuals who may be high-risk, significantly underserved, or who are frequent health care service users.
“Health doesn’t begin in a doctor’s office; health begins in our homes, schools, and neighborhoods,” Choucair says. “Through these programs and our community partners, we will meet people in these settings first — so we can keep them out of the hospital in the future.”
Trinity Health operates in 20 states with nearly 90 hospitals and more than 100 continuing care locations. In Michigan, Trinity Health operates St. Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Livingston, Troy, Port Huron, along with Mercy Health is Muskegon and Grand Rapids.