Community Engagement

Achieving health equity requires meaningful collaboration with everyone in our community, especially with residents who are most affected by inequities. This involves changing power dynamics and leadership structures, learning from people with lived experience, and focusing action where it is most needed.

In 2017, the Washtenaw County Health Department published a Health Equity and Community Voice report that documented health challenges and opportunities expressed by residents in four priority communities: Whitmore Lake, West Willow, Latinx Community, and Southside Ypsilanti. Using data from a number of sources, including Health Improvement Plan survey and the Opportunity Index, the department identified two additional communities -- MacArthur Blvd in Superior Township and Ypsilanti Youth – where unjust health disparities exist and where more community engagement was needed.

Community Voices for Health Equity Team

In partnership with residents, the Health Department formed a Community Voices for Health Equity team to strengthen relationships across communities and create a sustainable pathway for ongoing community-led action.

The current team is comprised of 10 community members from the six priority areas listed above.

Community Leadership Team around a picnic tableMost of the Community Leadership Team, June 2019

The Community Voices for Health Equity Team works collaboratively with Health Department staff to be responsive to issues of importance identified by community members, and take action on issues that impact multiple communities in Washtenaw County. In 2019, members of the team identified mental health and social support for youth as a top priority area for collective action.

The Community Voices for Health Equity Team currently meets on the first Monday of every month from 5:30 – 7:30pm (meeting location varies each month). If you’d like to learn more and connect with the team, please reach out to Adam Paberzs by email or phone (734-320-7078).

Learn more about the Community Voices for Health Equity team in this one page document (PDF).

Partnerships Profiles

Click on the links below for more information on each partnership.

Health for All Steering Committee

Posed photo of steering committee members

In addition to our Community Voices for Health Equity team, the Health Department also coordinates the Health for All Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is part of our updated community health assessment and planning process.

The Health for All Steering Committee prioritizes public health issues and takes action to improve conditions that support health and well-being. The committee is made up of community members, local health system and hospital representatives, and other local organizational representatives.

The Steering Committee’s vision is: We are a caring, inclusive, and just community that comes together to ensure that everyone has equitable access to the resources needed to thrive. Learn more about the Health for All Steering Committee and view a list of members.