The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced the formation of 11 Regional Health Advisory Councils designed to help combat health disparities in underserved and rural areas across the state. These councils will provide a network of trusted community partners that will help improve structural gaps in current and emerging health emergencies including policies, practices and resource flow related to data.

The 11 Regional Health Equity Councils are composed of community organizations serving populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Backbone organizations (BBO) are expected to begin serving their respective regions in August. The councils are being funded through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support grant. Councils will be established in the following regions:

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

BBOs will support their Regional Health Equity Council in accomplishing five key goals:

  • A reduction in COVID-19 disparities in impacted communities specifically among Michigan’s five racial ethnic minority populations:
    • African Americans.
    • American Indians/Alaska Natives.
    • Arab and Chaldean Americans.
    • Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
    • Hispanics/Latinos.
  • 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 affected communities including organizations and community leaders – both existing and emerging.
  • Community driven, not agency driven, decision making and priority setting.

Grants began distribution in July and funded activities will complete by May 31, 2023.