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Health Equity Advisory Councils

The Regional Health Equity Councils are funded under the CDC OT21-2103 National Initiative to address COVID-19 Health Disparities Among Populations at High-Risk and Underserved, Including Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations and Rural Communities. The Program Strategies of the funding task the councils to:

  • Expand existing and/or develop new mitigation and prevention resources and services to reduce COVID-19 related disparities among populations at higher risk and that are underserved.
  • Increase/improve data collection and reporting for populations experiencing a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 infection, severe illness, and death to guide the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Build, leverage, and expand infrastructure support for COVID-19 prevention and control among populations that are at higher risk and underserved.
  • Mobilize partners and collaborators to advance health equity and address social determinants of health as they relate to COVID-19 health disparities among populations at higher risk and that are underserved.
  • To self-determine priorities based on the needs of the community in accordance with efforts that seek to accomplish five key goals:

    • A reduction in COVID-19 disparities in impacted communities specifically among Michigan’s five racial ethnic minority populations:
      • African American/Black
      • American Indian/Alaskan Native
      • Arab and Chaldean American
      • Asian American and Pacific Islander
      • Hispanic/Latino
    • Planned reduction of community identified priority risk factors.
    • Development and implementation of practices and policies to promote equity and reduce health disparities.
    • Equitable distribution and efficient use of resources to support affect communities including organizations, community leaders, both existing and emerging.
  • The expected impact of the councils on Michiganders, is twofold. The first impact is to build on MDHHS’s desire to establish an advisory infrastructure between MDHHS and the community. The second impact is to provide more of the decision-making power within communities and in the hands of those with the lived experience to shift the imbalance of power and uplift the direct needs among populations at high-risk and underserved, including racial and ethnic minority populations and rural communities.

  • Councils will be reporting on a series of performance measures as outlined by the funding source for this initiative (CDC-OT21-2103: National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health 3 Disparities Among Populations at High-Risk and Underserved, Including Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations and Rural Communities). Those measures include but are not limited to:

    • COVID Mitigation and Prevention Resources (i.e., Contact tracing, Case Investigation, Quarantine and Isolation support, Wrap around services or Preventive care and disease management, Evidence-based policies, systems, and environmental strategies)
    • COVID Data Quality and Improvements (i.e., Workforce support for data collection and reporting to ensure collection of complete and representative data, development of monitoring and evaluation plan related to improving health disparities and inequities)
    • Infrastructure Improvements (i.e., Training and education, expanded workforce through mechanisms such as contracts/contractors, hiring employees and/or temp workers, or bringing on volunteers, development of or updated health equity plans)
    • Partnerships and Collaborations (i.e., New, Existing, or Expanded partnerships)
  • The Office of Equity and Minority Health developed 11 Councils positioned across the state of Michigan. They are located based on population rates of racial and ethnic minority populations and incidence of COVID-19. The Councils are in the following regions:

    • City of Detroit
    • Genesee County
    • Ingham County
    • Kent County
    • Macomb County
    • Muskegon County
    • Oakland County
    • Ottawa County
    • Saginaw County
    • Washtenaw County
    • Wayne County

    Each Council is supported by a backbone organization. This organization is responsible for the provision of administrative, facilitation, fiduciary, and recruitment assistance. Membership of councils consists of, academic, community-based, faith-based, grassroots, and health related organization. Additionally, they were required to have at minimum three community members on their council; community member is defined as one with lived experience who is not representing their organization rather the needs of the regions residents and willing to advocate for their needs. Councils are tasked with self-determining priorities and activities that impact their region.

  • City of Detroit

    Backbone Organization: Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength (MOSES)

    • Council Membership: Composed of 50% Organizations & 50% residents' non-staff of partner organizations.
    • Priority Populations: Detroiters with focus on low income, Black/African American, Latinx/Hispanic American.
    • Council Activities:
      • Development of a Detroit Health Equity and Policy Values Agenda
      • Creation of Community Hubs throughout Detroit neighborhoods
      • Engage community leaders and subject matter experts to share information on issues of health equity in Detroit
      • Plan a Health Equity Summit to share and gather feedback on the current status of health and current concerns of residents

    Genesee County

    Backbone Organization: Greater Flint Health Coalition (GFHC)

    • Council Membership: (Sectors) Residents (including youth and seniors), Faith, Neighborhood Groups, Community-based Organizations, Social Services, Non-Profits, Business, and Healthcare.
    • Priority Populations: Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Arabic communities.
    • Council Activities:
      • Creation and implementation of a community grant writing workshop
      • Community grantmaking

    Ingham County

    • Council Membership: 7 community members representing the racial and ethnic minority populations, 9 members representing a variety of community, grassroots, and health related organizations.
    • Priority Populations: Black/African Americans, Indigenous/Native Americans, and People of Color.
    • Council Activities:


    Kent County

    Backbone Organization: Kent County Health Department

    • Council Membership: 10 Community Based Organizations (Area Agency on Aging, Black Impact Collaborative, Disability Advocates of Kent County, GR LGBTQ+ Healthcare Consortium, Grand Rapids African American Health Institute, Hispanic Center, Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, A Glimpse of Africa, West Michigan Asian American Association, YWCA West Central Michigan) and 5 community members.
    • Priority Populations: Low income, minority, and aging populations.


    Oakland County

    Backbone Organization: Oakland County Health Department

    • Council Membership: Community Based Organizations (Arab American and Chaldean Council, Centro Multicultural la Familia, Pontiac Community Foundation) and Residents.
    • Priority Populations: Black/African American people, Indigenous people, people of Middle Eastern and North African descent, and Hispanic/Latino people. Special attention is paid to intersecting identities including ability, citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation.

    Ottawa County

    Backbone Organization: Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance

    • Council Membership: 4 community partner organizations and 5 community members.
    • Priority Populations: Low Income, Migrant, and Immigrant Communities.

    Macomb County

    Backbone Organization: Judson Center

    • Council Membership: 16 members (7 individuals; 9 organizations).
    • Priority Populations: Racial/ethnic groups disparately impacted by Covid-19, including African American, Arab American, Asian, Latinx, and Native/Indigenous communities in Macomb County.

    Muskegon County

    Backbone Organization: Access Health

    • Council Membership: Grassroots organizations, Non-Profit organizations, Residents, Small Business Owners
    • Priority Populations: Black/African Americans, Hispanic/ Latinx, Asian-American, Tribal Representative


    Saginaw County

    Backbone Organization: Saginaw County Health Department

    • Council Membership: Sectors include Community, Health, Religious, Education and Cultural Organizations alongside Community Members 
    • Priority Populations: Black/African-American, Latin X, Native, Muslim, Rural, LGBTQ, Black/African American and Latin X young men

    Washtenaw County

    Backbone Organization: Washtenaw County Health Department

    • Council Membership: 4 grassroot organizations, including youth, and 12-13 community members
    • Priority Populations: Black/African American and Latino residents, within the 48197/48198 zip codes

    Wayne County

    Backbone Organization: Detroit Association of Black Organizations (DABO)

    • Council Membership: Sectors include Faith-based, Health, Education, Civic Leaders, Business, Media, Volunteers, Parents
    • Priority Populations: People living below the poverty in Wayne County, Unemployed, No High School Diploma, Single Parents with children under 18, Transportation barriers