REACH and Community/Clinical Linkages

One of the four goals of Kent County's REACH initiative is to establish a system for the prescription of non-clinical interventions (physical activity and healthy eating) for patient management of chronic diseases at Federally Qualified Health Centers throughout the city.

Clinical Linkages in Kent County | Rx for Health | YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program

Clinical Linkages in Kent County

Adults who do not have health care coverage are less likely to access health care services and delay getting needed medical attention. Utilization of preventative health care services could reduce the prevalence and severity of disease and chronic conditions in Kent County. These services include blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI, and glucose screenings. Moreover, a yearly routine checkup with a health care professional provides an opportunity to raise awareness regarding preventive services, conduct individual risk assessments, promote informed decision-making and screen for diseases for early detection.

Access to health care in Kent County appears to be closely linked with socioeconomic factors. Hispanics and residents with lower education and income levels have substantially lower rates of health care coverage. Additionally, age and gender are closely associated with having health insurance and personal health care provider, with older age groups and women more likely to report they have both.

  • 11.6% of adults (<64 years old) are uninsured, which is below the state average of 17.4%. 
  • In 2014, the proportion of uninsured of adults with less than a high school education was at 32.2% and 28.3% of those at lower income levels (<$20,000 per year). 
  • 11.7% of Kent County adult residents needed to see a doctor in the past year but could not due to the cost. 
  • 30.2% of Hispanics are without healthcare coverage in Kent County. 
  • Adults (aged 25-34) are most likely to be uninsured (20.4%). 
  • Men have lower rates of health care coverage than women (85.5% vs. 91.2% insured). 
  • 14.3% of Kent County adults do not have a personal doctor or health care provider. 
  • Men are substantially more likely than women to have no personal health care provider (17.8% vs. 11%). 
  • 25% of Kent County adult residents report not having a routine checkup within the past 12 months, which is slightly better than the state average of 30%. 
  • Adult men are substantially less likely than women to have had a routine checkup in the past year (28% vs. 22%). 
  • 13% of the adult population has not had access to diabetes screenings during the past 12 months.

Sources: Kent County 2011 Community Health Needs Assessment, Kent County Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (BRFSS) Report (2014), Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (2013), Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth (MiPhY) (2012).

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RX for Health

One of the four goals of the REACH initiative is to establish a system for the prescription of non-clinical interventions (physical activity and healthy eating) for patient management of chronic diseases at Federally Qualified Health Centers throughout the city. For this, Kent County Health Connect has developed Prescriptions for Health. After meeting with health care providers, we identified barriers for patients when providing health information that included low literacy, under utilizing pictures and infographics, and Spanish. The intervention was tailored to meet these needs and a tool was developed based on the feedback. 

Providers use to tool to prescribe clients/individuals recommendations for incorporation physical activity and fresh foods into their lives. This includes prescribing serving sizes of fruits, vegetables, and water a day, prescribing different exercise types and lengths, and referral for community resources.

Prescriptions are also accompanied by a Healthy Living Journal.  Providers will discuss goals and instruct patients to use the journal to record their activities. Journals are used to evaluate their progress at the next visit.

Download Journal in English            

Download Journal in Spanish


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YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program

The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids provides a 12-month group-based program for individuals that may be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It is designed to help them gain the tools and education they need to live healthy long, healthy lives and reduce their risk of developing this chronic disease. During the 16 weekly sessions and with the help of a lifestyle coach, individuals will learn about the importance of physical activity, healthy eating and weight loss in preventing type two diabetes. Some examples of lifestyle changes participants will learn to make include reading nutrition labels, measuring portions, the importance of exercising for just thirty minutes, and more. You will also receive continuing encouragement from your coach and fellow group members.

Learn more about the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program.

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