The Upper Peninsula Area Health Education Center (UP-AHEC) has been working in Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties to identify the primary health care needs of those counties. UP-AHEC has been attending relevant meetings in these areas and recruiting a stakeholders group, which consists of representation from local health care facilities, academic institutions and mental health agencies. It encourages additional community members in business or health care to join the group.
UP-AHEC is based at Northern Michigan University. Its primary goals are recruiting and retaining health professionals in the Upper Peninsula to help ensure accessibility to health care in the future. As a predominantly rural area, the U.P. faces challenges trying to recruit, train and retain health care professionals, as well as attract a variety of health professionals to meet the needs of the population.
Input from local stakeholder and community meetings and data shows that Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties have primary issues with lack of access to health care services, such as transportation or available specialty services, as well as retention methods for local health care providers. Health outcomes for the areas also show higher risk with socioeconomic factors and mortality rates.
UP-AHEC is looking for additional community members in business or health care to be a part of the UP-AHEC stakeholders group for the Gogebic and Ontonagon areas. This group helps identify health care priorities, holds larger community meetings and helps design programs to fit the needs of the area. To join the Gogebic-Ontonagon stakeholders group, please contact UP-AHEC at 906-227-1613.
UP-AHEC is planning a large community engagement event, “Gogebic-Ontonagon Open Spaces,” which will be held in the beginning of August 2016, to determine effective retention techniques for health care providers.