What is the Eaton Rapids Health Alliance?
We are made up of representatives from the Barry-Eaton District Health Department, Eaton Rapids Medical Center, the City of Eaton Rapids, MSU Extension, Eaton RESA, Community Mental Health, Eaton Rapids Public Schools, and more.
The mission of ERHA is to enhance and preserve the health of those who live, work, and play in Eaton Rapids by collaborating with the community to provide environments and opportunities that support healthy lifestyles and well-being. Our primary focus areas are physical activity, nutrition, mental health, substance use, and safety.
We have worked on projects such a Tobacco-Free Parks, Safe Routes to School (which encourages building sidewalks so that children have a safer walk to school), and getting EBT/food stamps accepted at a local farmers market.
Why does a community need a health alliance?
The most recently conducted Community Health Needs Assessment illustrates a need to improve the health in our region.
Areas of concern include poor mental health, health care access, obesity, financial stability, economic mobility, and chronic disease. View the Community Health Needs Assessment.
How can I get involved?
programs & Past successes
Early programs implemented by the ERHA have included EBT at Farmers' Markets, Safe Routes to School, and Smoke-Free Parks.
For more information on our upcoming ideas and programs, please reference our Strategic Focus.
ebt at farmers' markets
Part of a healthier community involves making sure all residents have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, especially ones that are locally sourced.
safe routes to school
Walking to school is healthier, but many parents prefer to drive due to a lack of safe walking routes in rural districts. Our program helped solve this problem.
Ensuring our parks and community spaces were smoke-free helped make them safer and more enjoyable for families and other community members.
2016-18 STRATEGIC FOCUS
2019-2020 strategic planning is currently in development.
1. “Prescriptions for Health” program. Implement a program to connect healthcare providers with healthy food vendors (e.g., Farmers Market, food pantry); enlist physicians to give patients with chronic diseases prescription for fruits and vegetables.
2. Improve early intervention protocol for mental health and substance use disorders. Ensure that organizations are following best practices and help obtain resources for those that need assistance.
Ideas: Strengthen/promote the Choices program, Signs of Suicide, and PALs; encourage schools to continue participating in the MiPHY.
3. Implement of expand options for learning healthy cooking and enjoying fun physical activities.
Ideas: Include a focus on how to get adults to come (incentives, etc.).
4. Build up the Eaton Rapids Health Alliance’s membership and strengthen its relationships with partners and the community.
Ideas: Build coalition membership to include youth, law enforcement, school staff (especially counselors from the middle and high schools), PTA members, businesspeople, faith-based leaders, media, healthcare professionals; include guest speakers (10 min) in each coalition meeting.
1. Work with other community members and assets to advocate for a local teen center.
2. Improve and streamline the referral processes and care coordination—and measure efficacy—for people with mental health and substance use disorders. Find ways to get people to utilize existing resources.
3. Create a mentoring / peer support program for adults to improve parenting, coping, wellness, and other life skills.
Ideas: Strengthen/promote the Choices program, ERMC programs; normalize/destigmatize parenting classes; improve promotion for parenting classes (“Parenting with a Twist,” clever marketing for the Parent Education Directory; offer scholarships to parenting conference in November 2016
SCHEDULE OF MEETINGS
The Eaton Rapids Health Alliance meets every fourth Tuesday of the month at 3:30 in the afternoon at Eaton Rapids Medical Center.
Meeting locations may change, so please use the contact form on our site if you have any additional questions.
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