Whitmer cabinet promotes strategy to reduce race-based health disparities
Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist toured a health care center and mobile clinic at a Detroit church on Wednesday with other members of a state task force convened to reduce race-based health disparities. Their work was informed by the COVID-19 crisis in Michigan.
“I think we certainly learned more from that experience, and then we chose to translate those lessons into ongoing action,” said Gilchrist, who chaired the task force, following the meet-up at the Bethel Baptist Church East Community Health Clinic.
Gilchrist said COVID-19 offered a lot of lessons about how to provide health care, including screenings and vaccinations, to under-served areas of the state.
“I expect some amazing things to come from the community health zones, work in the neighborhood-based services that we’re going to expand. We’ve seen a significant impact in rural communities with mobile health units, as well,” he said. “So I think you’re going to see more creativity in the public health space in Michigan as a result of what we’ve learned over the past three years.”
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel said one of the lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis is the importance of providing health care services in neighborhoods.
“We need to continue to build on the model of bringing services to people where they are,” she said. “What these sites have demonstrated is that when we do that, we’re successful and people take advantage of them.”
The new state budget includes $49.5 million to implement recommendations from the Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities.