Healthy lives start with healthy communities

Healthier Communities banner

When our neighbors are healthy and have access to the care, programs and resources they need to be well, we all win. At Spectrum Health, we are committed to ensuring that everyone – no matter their age, race or zip code, has the support they need to live their best life.

Healthier Communities does just that. Our team of dedicated and passionate community health workers, nurses, doctors and leaders “stand in the gap” to meet people wherever they may be to get them the answers, services and support they need.

Learn more about our programs that are:

  • Ensuring Black and Latino mothers and babies have every opportunity for a healthy start
  • Keeping kids in school and fostering participation and engagement in class
  • Connecting our non-English speaking neighbors with whatever programs and support they need
  • Making sure every community has the fundamental rights that support good health – quality education, affordable housing, safe parks and so much more
  • Investing in community programs and partnerships that deliver the support, education and services our neighbors need
  • Empowering, educating and advocating for patients with chronic diseases so that they have the confidence to find their own voice with their providers

Mission Fit Statement

The mission of Spectrum Health is to improve health, inspire hope, and save lives. To fulfill this mission Healthier Communities focuses on reaching the highest level of health equity possible with the people, neighborhoods and regions we serve

What is health equity?

Health is defined as the “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.” Health equity is the absence of avoidable, unfair, or remediable differences among groups of people, whether those groups are defined socially, economically, demographically, geographically or by other means. Health equity implies that everyone should have a fair opportunity to attain their full health potential and that no one should be disadvantaged from achieving this potential. Total health in a community cannot be present where health inequities exist.

What are our strategies?

  • Reduce infant mortality
  • Advance family economic security as a means to improve health
  • Improve community wellness and reduce chronic disease

Contact Us

Healthier Communities 665 Seward Avenue NW, Suite 110 Grand Rapids, Michigan 49504

Connecting everyone to a healthier life

Every Student

Every student

We’re working with school districts across our region – from Ludington to Zeeland; from Muskegon to Montcalm – to keep every student healthy, engaged and, most importantly, in class and learning.

Every beginning

When Spectrum Health Healthier Communities and community partners realized in 2003 that the infant mortality rate for Black babies was 19.4 per 1,000 live births in Kent County, compared to 7 per 1,000 live for white babies, they knew they had to act. With that wake-up call, our Maternal Infant Health experts worked with community partners to develop Strong Beginnings: A program that connects Black and Latinx pregnant women and new mothers with the resources they – and their babies need – to start strong. 

Every Beginning

The most recent data shows Kent County’s infant mortality rate for Black babies has dropped to 9.7 - still higher than 4.4 for white babies. Our efforts won’t stop until it’s a strong beginning for every mother and every baby.

Every Goal

Every goal

Start Now is a program that empowers participants to voice their questions, concerns and ideas during a provider visit, a nurse’s phone call or any conversation about their health. Together, we work with each individual to set goals and make a plan that puts them on a path to meet their every goal. It includes empowering our clients to voice their questions, concerns and ideas during a doctor’s visit, a nurse’s phone call or any conversation about their health.

Every ZIP code changes

More Life Mas Vida focuses on improving the health and wellness of our communities in creative and collaborative ways. Not only do they provide community members with tools for understanding their risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, including free biometric screenings, group and individual healthy lifestyle education and care coordination with their primary care providers, they are also a rapid response team when immediate community needs present themselves.

Every Zip Code

Give a Gift to the Community Client Assistance Fund

Your donation helps support the self-sufficiency of patients in need.