Munson Health
Community Health Initiatives

Munson Community Health coordinates, facilitates, and in some cases, directs implementation of a variety of programs aimed at improving community health. Oversight and priority setting is provided by the Munson Healthcare Community Health Committee, a sub-committee of the Munson Healthcare Board of Directors.

The following are current programs funded or supported through the Community Health department.

MEDS Program

The MEDS program facilitates the acquisition of medications for uninsured patients who are unable to afford them. An inability to afford medications is a frequent cause of non-compliance, especially among the elderly, under insured, and uninsured patients. Non-compliance with a prescribed medication regimen produces sub-optimal results and may increase the overall cost of care. The MEDS program facilitates the acquisition of these medications by enrolling patients into pharmaceutical company-sponsored assistance programs. Patients discharged from the hospital are provided with covered medications at the time of discharge.

Patient Transportation

Patient transportation is provided specifically for Traverse Bay Regional Dialysis Center patients who meet financial criteria and have no other means of transportation. Funds are also provided on a case-by-case basis to provide transportation home from Munson Medical Center after discharge for patients with no other options.

Healthy Futures

Healthy Futures began in 1998 as a partnership of area health care providers, health departments, and Munson Healthcare (MHC) to improve the health of pregnant women and children under age two. Healthy Futures supports families in accessing primary and preventive services. As a collaborative program, the provision of services is shared among the partners of MHC and the public health departments which provide nurse-delivered educational and support visits to enrolled families. MHC supports the Central Access office, data maintenance and analysis, and the overall coordination and oversight of the program. Breastfeeding, health care access, and immunization goals are established for the program and enrolle data demonstrates positive health outcomes. The program has consistently tracked rates of breastfeeding, immunization, and access to prenatal and well-child care among participants, which are well above state averages.

Since its inception, Healthy Futures has enrolled more than 20,000 children in the county-based RN support and education component of the program.

Northern Michigan Diabetes Initiative

The Northern Michigan Diabetes Initiative (NMDI) is a diverse 12-county regional collaborative committed to providing local, regional and national resources for the prevention and management of diabetes. NMDI is making a significant difference through an upstream approach of spearheading best-practice-based communication between providers and the general public. NMDI's overall goal is a reduction in the prevalence of diabetes and improvement in the care of people with diabetes. NMDI utilizes a multifaceted approach, which targets three areas: patients, providers, and the community. To date, more than 30 organizations from both public and private sectors support NMDI by being a stakeholder, which help to plan and guide our activities on an annual basis. Key partners include Munson Healthcare (an eight-hospital regional health system), Priority Health (a non-profit insurance provider), regional health care providers/practices, and local public health departments.

Obesity Initiative 

The 2013 Munson Medical Center Community Health Needs Assessment identified obesity as one of the top prioritized health issues facing the five-county area of northwest Michigan (Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau). As a result collaborative call to action groups were established in four key areas: business, providers, schools, and communities. Munson Community Health will be working with those groups in the following ways:

  • Business - collaboration with the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce Health Committee to develop ways the business community can address obesity in the workplace. Members of the Chamber Health Committee (Munson Community Health is a member) and individuals who indicated a willingness to participate in this workgroup will work on developing a plan to assist area business in options to improve their company employee wellness. 
  • Providers - Munson Community Health is collaborating with providers, the Northern Physician Organization, and other interested individuals to assess the needs of health care providers as they address obesity in their patient populations. Appropriate action will be taken as indicated.
  • Schools - Munson Community Health is collaborating with area schools, organizations, and other interested individuals to examine current assets, gaps, and school policies related to childhood obesity. From that data a determination will be made if there are opportunities for enhancing what is being done or possibly developing something new.
  • Healthier Communities - Munson Community Health will continue to collaborate with United Way, Michigan Land Use Institute, Traverse Area Recreational Trails (TART), Parks and Recreation, Grand Vision, health departments, and others to look at creating a healthier community through access to healthy food and opportunities to increase physical activity.


In the fall of 2012, these groups joined together with Priority Health to ask a handful of community leaders to talk publicly about their organizational and personal commitments to become healthier. A year later, these same leaders were asked to provide an update on how their organizational and personal wellness efforts are going. View the videos below.

Commitments (Fall 2012)



Follow Up (Fall 2013)