Programs & Initiatives

Health Improvement Organization

In 2000, Henry Ford Allegiance Health founded the Health Improvement Organization (HIO) with the goal of improving the health of our community through strong partnerships and coordinated efforts. The HIO Coordinating Council is a collaborative of more than 30 local agencies working together to build on existing strengths and resources to support momentum, sustain success and champion a culture of health in our community. Learn more about the HIO.

Community Health Assessment

In 2016, the HIO completed the third community health assessment for Jackson County. The health assessment details the community’s health status and challenges, and can be used by public and private organizations to allocate resources, develop policies and better understand patterns of health and disease. Based on results of the health assessment, the HIO has revised and updated the Community Action Plan aimed at reducing obesity and smoking, as well as improving emotional health among Jackson County residents.

In 2013, as part of the collaborative Health Improvement Organization process, Henry Ford Allegiance Health (HFAH) completed a Community Health Needs Assessment with partners across Jackson County. After surveying community stakeholders and analyzing local health data, the following indicates the priority areas of focus for HFAH.

2013 CHNA Identified Priorities/Goals

  • Improve the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of residents of Jackson County
  • Reduce the obesity rate amongst Jackson County residents
  • Reduce smoking rate and secondhand smoke exposure in Jackson County
  • Improve the behavioral health and emotional wellness of Jackson County residents
  • Enhance collaborative action planning, resource alignment, and linkages among clinical and social systems to achieve collective population health impact

While not every priority on the list is measurable, updated data indicates local improvement in a number of areas.

  • Proportion of Jackson County residents that received advice about their weight from a health care provider increased from 27% in 2010 CHNA to 39% in 2013 CHNA and 42% in 2016 CHNA.
  • Number of Jackson residents with low access to fresh food decreased from 19,000 to 12,000 from 2013 CHNA to 2016 CHNA.
  • Proportion of smokers who report receiving advice from their provider to quit increased from 61% to 68% from 2013 CHNA to 2016 CHNA.
  • Percent of adults who would ‘definitely’ seek professional help for a serious emotional problem increased from 54% to 63% from 2013 CHNA to 2016 CHNA.

In order to contribute to those improvements, HFAH championed several programs to make progress possible. Below is a description of the programs established/enhanced to achieve outcomes.

Priority AreaHFAH Strategy Implemented
  • Build provider competency to address nutrition/weight issues including training such as motivational interviewing
  • Expand local farmer’s market capacity and accessibility, including onsite markets at access points such as HFAH, WIC, and EBT machines at farmer’s markets
Tobacco Reduction
  • Provide tools and competency training to support consistent screening and effective referrals for patients and families in need of services for prevention/lifestyle management
Emotional Health
  • Build systems to support social and emotional health screening and referrals by primary care providers, including pediatricians
  • Support integration of behavioral health social norming messages & promotion of community resources  into wellness campaigns (
  • Create a sustainable structure to provide ongoing support for collective impact networks (Jackson Collaborative Network)

Henry Ford Allegiance Health provides funding for the community health assessment, as well as staffing, and champions many strategies within the community action plan.

Download the full Community Health Assessment and Community Action Plan.

Improving Community Health, Step by Step

Step by Step is an initiative of the HIO dedicated to helping those who live, work and play in Jackson County improve their health and well-being through physical activity and healthy eating. The Step by Step website gives individuals the opportunity to establish customized profiles and goals.

Employer-based Health Management Program

To enhance the productivity and health status of employees, Henry Ford Allegiance Health, through the HIO, created It’s Your Life. The health management program is available to Jackson County businesses seeking a proven strategy to manage costs and improve workforce health. The program includes health risk appraisals, health screenings, health coaching and wellness education. Learn more about It’s Your Life.

Prenatal Task Force

Founded in 2003, the Jackson County Prenatal Task Force (PNTF) is a community collaborative led by Henry Ford Allegiance Health and the Jackson County Health Department. The task force works to collectively implement strategies to reduce infant death rates in Jackson County. Jackson’s infant death rates have historically exceeded state and national averages. However, over the past five years local death rates have declined significantly to below the state rate. Learn more about the Prenatal Task Force.

Faith Community Nursing Partnership

Henry Ford Allegiance Health is pleased to provide support for our local Faith Community Nursing Partnership. Members of the Faith Community Nurse Partnership are registered nurses who volunteer to work alongside members of their faith community to empower them to make positive health choices, while promoting an understanding of the relationship between faith and health. Learn more about the Faith Community Nursing Partnership.

Community Benefit

Each year, Henry Ford Allegiance Health makes a significant investment in the community by providing low-cost or free services and education to supplement normal services. These community benefit programs also serve to extend our mission as a not-for-profit health system dedicated to improving the health and wellness of all community members, regardless of their ability to pay. Many of these programs are run by the HIO. Learn more about our community benefit initiatives.

Confused by nutrition labels? Just look for foods that are lower in fat (especially trans fats and saturated fats), low in sodium and high in fiber.