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New path to better health in Ottawa County

Krystle Wagner • Feb 23, 2017 at 2:00 PM

A program aimed at helping residents improve their health is now underway.

The rollout of Ottawa Pathways to Better Health is the result of an improvement plan based on the 2015 Ottawa County Health Needs Assessment. The assessment found the most prevalent issues are health care, healthy behaviors and mental health.

“The goal of Ottawa Pathways to Better Health is to improve health outcomes and reduce unnecessary (hospital emergency room) visits and hospitalizations by assisting clients to access community resources and reduce the risks that create barriers to good health,” said Sue Keen, the new program’s supervisor.

To participate in the program, you must be age 18 or older, live in Ottawa County, be eligible for or enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid, have two or more chronic health conditions, and have challenges to overcoming barriers to manage health conditions.

Examples of chronic health conditions include: anxiety, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, depression, heart disease, hypertension and long-term pain.

Currently, there are five community health workers who will meet with residents to help them set goals, connect them with community resources and services, help residents manage their prescriptions, and more.

“Ottawa Pathways to Better Health exemplifies true collaboration among community partners,” Keen said. “The role of the community health worker is a wonderful complement to our existing health care programs and services.”

For more information about Ottawa Pathways to Better Health, call 616-393-5601.

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