Health Equity Council aims to bridge gaps and inequalities in Michigan

The Health Equity Council will meet once or twice a month through May 2023.
Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 10:15 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Ingham County is looking for people to serve on its new Health Equity Council. The council will address gaps and inequalities in health care when it comes to COVID-19, and other disparities.

According to health experts, the COVID-19 pandemic caused barriers in prevention and resources for people of color. The Health Equity Council is all about fixing that problem.

Related: Michigan prepares for new COVID variant booster vaccine

The Capital Area Health Alliance and the Ingham County Health Department received a $400,000 grant to build a council that will look into why people of color are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

“When we see these inequities in these health outcomes, it’s not genetic. It is born out of what we call the social determinants of health – or root causes. And those social determinants of health are things like low income, food insecurity, access to primary care, and those things are rooted in things like racism,” said Ingham County Health Officer, Linda Vail.

The Health Equity Council will focus on barriers that put Black and Brown people at a disadvantage when it comes to disease reduction and transmission.

“So bringing in the voices of community and community organizations are really about building trust for those efforts with populations that are at higher risk of adverse health outcomes,” said Vail.

Health Equity Council members will also identify problem areas like infant and maternal mortality, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Once key issues are identified, strategies will be developed.

“We will go nowhere as a community, as a nation in terms of really being a country that provides supposedly good health care if we don’t narrow those gaps,” said Vail.

The Health Equity Council will meet once or twice a month through May 2023.

To apply – contact Dana Watson at or 517-512-3074. The Health Equity Council is seeking three individuals – members will be financially compensated.

Grant funding is provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Office of Equity and Minority Health in partnership with the Michigan Public Health Institute.

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