SAGINAW, MI – The Michigan Health Improvement Alliance, Inc. (MiHIA) hosted the Community Coalition Accelerator Workshop to unite 14-counties across mid-central Michigan in addressing the Opioid Crisis. 74 leaders attended the workshop on August 8th at CMU College of Medicine, one stated the workshop “helped to refocus the community engagement process leading to effective practice and community change.”

Attendees believed that participating in the workshop added value to the daily work their organization does to improve the opioid epidemic and felt their organization had the ability to play an active role in implementing the regional action plans that were jointly developed.

The workshop, facilitated by MiHIA and Insight Formation, did not spend time defining the problem, we all are very aware of the issues. Rather the focus was on accelerating progress on the solutions by sharing tools, ideas and techniques on specific topics. During the workshop, community leaders were split into six different macro strategy breakout groups to share on-going work, review possible evidence-based interventions to implement, and identified key areas to focus on as a region. The six strategies include increased risk factor screening, protective factors for youth, reducing neonatal absence syndrome, peer recovery, medical assisted treatment (MAT) and non-opioid/non-pharmalogical approaches to chronic pain management.

The Community Coalition Accelerator workshop was “inspiring and motivational, giving hope that change is possible,” mentioned a leader in the Great Lakes Bay Region. MiHIA along with Co-leaders of the six strategies are now developing a 60 and 180 day work plan, including identifying which additional organizations need to be involved in each segment.

The August 8th workshop was a follow-up to the event held May 30th revealing the Opioid Regional Strategy Map to guide: information sharing, alignment of resources, identification of scalable models and opportunities to invest resources to address critical gaps and breakthrough opportunities. On October 30th, Leaders will meet again to share what has been accomplished to date and spend time further refining long terms planning around each key areas of focus.

To learn more about the Opioid Strategy group, please contact Katie Trotter at admin@mihia.org