Safeguarding Public Health
The health and well-being of Michiganders is inextricably tied to the health of our lakes, air, land, and communities. That’s why the Michigan Environmental Council is committed to forging bonds between the state’s health and environmental communities that strengthen our legislative clout. It’s a natural alliance, and it’s growing stronger.
Our health policy work accelerated in 2011 with exciting new initiatives and alliances that are bringing more resources to bear on Michigan’s most stubborn and dangerous public health threats.
Giving kids access to healthy food
MEC joined the Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan (HKHM) coalition, made up of 120 of the state’s most prestigious and committed health groups committed to tackling Michigan’s childhood obesity epidemic. MEC co-chairs the coalition’s Healthy Food Access group and is working to enhance healthy local food offerings for vulnerable populations. MEC is also working through HKHM to increase active transportation options, strengthen driver’s education requirements, and advance policies that keep bike riders and pedestrians safe. Our work was forwarded to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Council Education Subcommittee, which broadens our coalition to include the Secretary of State, Department of Transportation, and other influential partners.
Preventing asthma with cleaner air
MEC worked throughout 2011 on clean air issues through the lens of asthma management and prevention. We partnered with health care experts to expand the conversation from drug therapies and asthma action plans to environmental triggers and causation. We’re educating practitioners to be advocates for clean air policies by solidifying the links between poor outdoor air quality and impaired lung and cardiac health.
Ending childhood lead poisoning
MEC coordinated the 2011 activities of a new coalition to end childhood lead poisoning: Safe Homes/Safe Kids: Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Housing. We also worked directly with the Michigan Department of Community Health (DCH) and community partners.
Watchdogging the appropriations process
Using our expertise in the legislative process, we watchdogged the appropriations process to educate lawmakers on the importance of adequate funding for critical health programs for public health, including childhood lead poisoning prevention.
Advocating for children’s health
We continued our role with the Michigan Network for Children’s Environmental Health, leading policy discussions and advocating for strong legislation at the State Capitol.
Greening health care at hospitals
Making hospitals more sustainable and environment-friendly was part of our role on the Michigan Hospital Association’s Green Health Care Committee.
Protecting the vulnerable from high heat
We continued to lay important groundwork for protecting Michiganders from high heat and other climate change consequences that are impacting vulnerable populations, including children and the elderly.
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