SAGINAW, MI — Leaders from across the Great Lakes Bay Region recognize the powerful intersection between the economy and health. With healthcare representing nearly 20 percent of our region’s economy, connecting with nearly every public or private investment, it is clear that the overall success of our region cannot be separated from a strategic understanding of the economic impact of health. Further, socioeconomic status is one of the most powerful predictors of health. THRIVE is the collaboration of Michigan Health Improvement Alliance, Inc. (MiHIA) and Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance (GLBRA) to empower the Great Lakes Bay Region through a health and economic initiative.

THRIVE’s mission is fueled by MiHIA’s longstanding and thoughtful commitments to regional health and its established network and relationships with national leaders in healthcare along with GLBRA’s established mission of regional economic growth and vitality. THRIVE was the decided name for this joint health initiative because we are enhancing a functioning region and working to make it something more: a region of excellent health for the population that works in a robust economy. This goal is to reach beyond our current trajectory: it is to THRIVE.

Both organizations share many of the same board members, stakeholders, and goals. Utilizing the established commitment of both organizations, THRIVE moves forward on its face-paced, diligent, and results-driven time table. We are tremendously grateful and encouraged by the engagement of the broad array of community leaders who have helped build the foundation for this effort and are enthusiastic to see it move ahead.

The Three Phases to Establish a Portfolio of Impact

Phase 1 and Phase 2 were implemented to establish priorities and to begin planning efforts of the initiative. The Top 5 Strategic Priorities are as follows:

Building provider capacity – Building Provider Capacity: Health Education and Professional Pipeline
Preventive care – Preventive Care, Mental Health and Well-being
Investing in Social Determinants of Health – Community Investments and Reducing Barriers
Attractiveness engine – Regional Attractiveness: Cost, Quality, Access, and Delivery of Care
Job creation – Creation of jobs

Phase 3

1st Quarter 2018: Establish Working Priority Teams. Working teams will be assigned one of the 5 Strategy areas and will utilize data, expertise, and local leadership perspective and priorities to recommend specific actions that will have the greatest impact for potential inclusion in the final portfolio of the health and economic initiative.

2nd Quarter 2018: Assessment of Teams’ Recommendations. The collective work of all the teams will be analyzed and evaluated for projected impact to establish the final portfolio. The recommendations will be reviewed against criteria/scoring and will be run through a simulation model and analytics to project impact, investment requirements, and timing.

In June 2018, a cohesive, regionally-aligned and connected portfolio will be finalized in order to deliver improved health and sustained economic growth in the Great Lakes Bay region.

Individuals who understand the needs of the community from professional, personal experience, or current volunteering positions are sought for their participation, advice and guidance. For more information and/or to volunteer to be a part of the identified Priority Teams, or to be added to the stakeholder distribution list, please contact admin@mihia.org. For the executive summary of THRIVE’s efforts to date, please visit www.thrivegreatlakesbay.org.