Case Studies

Muskegon Oceana County Health Disparities Reduction Coalition


The Muskegon Community Health Project, in partnership with Mercy Health Partners, is an inclusive, community-based, decision-making not-for-profit agency that has as its mission improving health care and its delivery in Muskegon County and in the surrounding West Michigan region. An appointed Board governs the Health Project, with over 300 community members serving as volunteers on coalitions, committees and ad hoc work groups carrying out our mission.

Our mission is to facilitate community identification and resolution of health issues, oversee the evaluation and coordination of activities to improve health outcomes, and initiate health-related projects, providing support and oversight when other community resources are not available. In working with Mercy Health Partners, this mission is accomplished through a community health needs assessment process that engages participants from across the spectrum throughout the community in planning, development, and implementation of strategies and programs to improve the health of the population served by Mercy Health Partners.

This project is part of CHA's Response to Disparities.
(Click here for a complete list of projects)

Poor health outcomes for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are apparent when comparing their health indicators against those of the rest of the U.S. population. These populations experience higher rates of illness and death from health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, specific cancers, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, asthma, hepatitis B and obesity.

The existence of racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes, access to care and quality of care stands in direct opposition to the mission of Catholic health care and the Catholic social tradition. To shed further light on this problem and how our ministry is addressing it, CHA asked its members for information about their initiatives to create a just health care system and increase access to all God's people in need.

In response, many unique approaches that are replicable were submitted. The information received underscores Catholic health care's shared commitment to:

  • Promote and defend human dignity.
  • Attend to the whole person.
  • Care for those persons who are poor and vulnerable.
  • Act on behalf of justice.
  • Steward resources.
  • Act in communion with the church.

As a vibrant community of members, CHA's goal in this activity is to engage the ministry in a conversation about the continued need for initiatives that open opportunities for access to quality health care for all, regardless of racial or ethnic background. If you know of a program that can be shared with others, please submit program information so that we can continue to highlight your efforts and share practices across the membership.

Additional Resources

Webinars December 13th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 2: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 20th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 1: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 17th, 2017

Transportation and the Role of Hospitals This AHA webinar on “Transportation and the Role of Hos......