County health department awarded for health quality improvement

— The Genesee County Health Department was honored with a Michigan Department of Community Health Director’s Award for Excellence in Local Public Health Quality Improvement during a ceremony Oct. 27.

The 2nd place award honored the Clio Healthy Community Initiative – Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) partnership to improve health in the northern tier of Genesee County. The selection criteria requires a community initiative to improve health outcomes, demonstrate a spirit of collaboration, demonstrate resource sharing, promote basic quality improvement principles and the project must be capable of being replicated in other communities.

The award presentation took place during Michigan’s Premiere Health Conference.

The conference shares innovative approaches to improving public health from across the state of Michigan. Nate Jonker, Director of the Clio Health Community Initiative, and Suzanne Cupal, MPH, Community Health Analyst with GCHD, presented the history and health improvement outcomes of this unique community-health department partnership.

They also presented Creating Community Change, the model planning process that was developed by these collaborators which can be used by other communities to improve health in their area. Creating Community Change can be accessed by visiting the

Genesee County Health Department website at

Through the Clio Healthy Community — GCHD partnership efforts, there has been a shift in attitudes toward health in the northern tier of Genesee County. Healthy snacks have become the norm at Clio area meetings, an annual health fair has been established, family fun days in the Clio City Park are held every Wednesday during the summer to promote physical activity, the Clio Area Fire Department adopted a physical fitness policy for its employees, Clio Chamber of Commerce now includes regular “Healthy Community” reports at their monthly meetings, and residents receive a monthly “Healthy Community” supplement in the School Bell Newsletter. — G.G.

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