Washtenaw County Public Health Releases Community Health Assessment and Improvement Plan

 “Building a Healthier Washtenaw” Tells the Story of our Community Health



 YPSILANTI, Mich., October 23, 2013 – Washtenaw County Public Health is pleased to announce the availability of “Building a Healthier Washtenaw: Community Health Assessment and Community Improvement Plan.” This latest report helps define the health of our community, identify priorities and highlight available assets. Interested residents are invited to visit http://publichealth.ewashtenaw.org to review the new report.

“Building a Healthier Washtenaw” is the product of Washtenaw County Public Health’s countywide partnership, called the Health Improvement Plan or HIP. The partnership includes University of Michigan Health System, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, Chelsea Community Hospital, community agencies, coalitions, government entities, universities and residents.
“We hope residents find this report valuable,” says Richard Fleece, Health Officer for Washtenaw County Public Health. “It tells the story of what our community health looks like; what resources are in place; what issues have been prioritized for action; and which community organizations are involved.”
The report contains two major sections: a community health assessment and a community health improvement plan. The assessment describes the health of the county population, using reliable data from a variety of sources. It also describes the resources currently available to address existing health challenges. The improvement plan details how Washtenaw County Public Health will work in partnership with the community to improve identified health issues. Through the HIP partnership, local experts, residents and stakeholders provided input as a part of the overall process. A public comment period also took place for two weeks in late August and early September.  Together, assessment and improvement plan processes as well as the resulting report help us fully describe the health of our community and how diverse sectors can work together to improve the health of the entire community.
Washtenaw County Public Health promotes health and works to prevent disease or injury in our community. Visit us online at http://publichealth.ewashtenaw.org.


Pertussis Cases Rising

The following is from the Washtenaw County Health Department…

Bordetella pertussis on Charcoal Agar - detail

Bordetella pertussis on Charcoal Agar – detail (Photo credit: Nathan Reading)

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Outbreak: Vaccination Encouraged

Pertussis or “whooping cough” is still circulating. Every week, 2 or 3 new cases are being reported with a total of 142 cases of pertussis in Washtenaw residents in 2013, the highest number since the 2010 outbreak. To date, there have been six hospitalizations and, fortunately, no deaths. Washtenaw County Public Health is working closely with all individuals diagnosed with pertussis and their contacts to make recommendations for treatment and prevention.

Washtenaw Case Count for 2013

Ages of confirmed and probable cases of pertussis as of 10/1/13:

<1 yr 1 – 4 yrs 5 – 9 yrs 10 – 14 yrs 15 – 19 yrs 20 yr and older total








Graph of Pertussis Cases by Month

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Website Feedback!

Please provide feedback to the EC regarding the website! (Look around first – of course!)


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A cool app that uses local antibiotic resistance data to help clinicians!

Limited, but neat.

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Medicine’s Search For Meaning

Post – by Will Meurer (referenced blog not by me!)

This is a blog post in the New York Times – which received a lot of comments. At times, we in organized medicine are looking for ways to engage younger physicians. The approach to considering wellness and the human side of medicine possibly representes an area where we can distinguish ourselves as organizations.

“Every day, we are reminded that the health care system is in crisis. We are going bankrupt. There are too many lawsuits. We practice defensive medicine. We restrict access. But surveys of doctors indicate a problem that penetrates much deeper than this. Today, almost 50 percent of doctors report symptoms of burnout — emotional exhaustion, low sense of accomplishment, detachment.”

Maybe someone in our group could start leading finding meaning sessions (definitely targeting a mixture of young and more experienced physicians) based on Naomi Remen’s work.


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General Session November 5

WCMS Members –

    Our next General Session is scheduled for Tuesday, November 5, 2013.  The program is being held at the Ann Arbor City Club, 1830 Washtenaw Avenue, Ann Arbor.  The social hour will begin at 6:00 p.m., dinner at 6:45 p.m., and the program at 7:30 p.m.
   The evening’s program is “The Second Half, A Quarterbacks’ Story.”  Featured speaker is Eric Hipple, former Detroit Lions‘ quarterback, who will discuss depression and surviving suicide.  There will be no CME offered for this program, but all are invited to attend. 
    Please make your reservations with the Society Office at (734)668-6241 or email your response to wcms@msms.org.


   Belinda Chandler
   Executive Director
   Washtenaw County Medical Society
   123 N. Ashley, Suite 121
   Ann Arbor, MI  48104

   Phone:  (734)668-6241
   email:  wcms@msms.org
   website:  www.wcms-mi.org

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Washtenaw Medical Beat – Primary Care

Dr. Martha Gray and Dr. Karl Edelmann discuss primary care!