Corewell Health, a Michigan-based health care system, received a $3.4 million grant to advance health equity and prevent chronic illnesses in Latino, Black and Indigenous populations in Wayne County, according to a news release.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded the five-year Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant to support programming in communities experiencing health disparities.

The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute’s, 2023 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps ranked Wayne County the least healthy of Michigan’s 83 counties. The ranking system observed health outcomes as well as environmental, economic, social and behavioral health factor.

“Corewell Health recognizes the profound importance of fostering health equity, reducing disparities and increasing access to high-quality care in every community we touch,” said Alicia Jackson, the organization’s director of health equity and community health, in the news release. “The REACH grant will ignite our efforts in Wayne County and Detroit, enabling us to expand vital community partnerships and increase support for populations with the highest risk of chronic disease.”

Chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, according to the CDC. What’s more, Latinos often experience increased rates of chronic illness compared with white people.

For example, chronic liver disease is the leading cause of death among Latinos, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. In fact, the chronic liver disease rate among Latino men and women is twice that of the non-Hispanic white population.

In 2018, Latinos were also about 70% more likely than white adults to be diagnosed with diabetes and about 1.3 times more likely to die of diabetes-related causes.

Corewell Health aims to address these health disparities by implementing public health programs that prioritize physical activity, access to healthy foods and care in breastfeeding.

“With this funding, organizations will plan and carry out local, culturally appropriate programs to address a wide range of health issues among racial and ethnic minority groups where health gaps remain,” said Terry O’Toole, PhD, of the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, in the news release. “REACH intends to improve health where people live, learn, work and play.”

In related Michigan news, Vivent Health recently announced a merger with UNIFIED, a Detroit-based provider of HIV services, to enhance HIV services in the greater Detroit area and throughout Michigan.

To learn more, click #Chronic Illnesses. There, you’ll find headlines such as “Report Details Latino Health Status in Georgia,” “Campaign Aims to Reduce Stress in Latinos” and “Fatigue Is Common Among Older Adults, and It Has Many Possible Causes.”