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Get Involved

There are a variety of local efforts to improve health for residents of Barry and Eaton counties. BEDHD takes a range of roles in these organizations, ranging from leadership to support to staffing. As part of effective public health services to the community, we mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems, by developing policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts. Often, this work happens in collaboration with others whose goals include health improvement. To learn more about these organizations, please contact Susan Peters, Health Analyst, or visit their websites.

Local Coalitions

Health Education

BEDHD can provide guest speakers, when available, for local workplaces, schools, health fairs, etc., on a variety of topics, including women’s health, sexually transmitted disease prevention, healthy eating, exercise promotion, smoking cessation, breastfeeding promotion, emergency preparedness, handwashing, immunizations, and communicable disease prevention. We also visit a wide variety of health fairs and other health promotion events throughout the year. Please contact Jill Sambaer, Community Health Promotion Specialist, for more information.

For Employers and Work Sites

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs in the Workplace presentation
BEDHD’s Skin Cancer Prevention website (for employers with outdoor workers)

Policy Change and Technical Assistance

Improving Health through Policy Change

Changing laws and policies can have a significant impact on the overall health of the public. Many times policies are changed at the federal and state level. Sometimes local governments, school districts, and institutions can make small changes in local policies with a big impact in health. Health promotion efforts are often enhanced by supportive policies. For more information about policy change, please contact Abigail Lynch, Community Health Promotion Specialist, or see the links below (a listing here does not imply that BEDHD endorses any or all of a particular group’s policy initiatives).

Smoke-Free Policy

Tobacco Free Michigan (smoke-free policy)

Prevention Institute

The Prevention Institute helps communities, governments, and foundations design effective prevention strategies. Its focus areas include:

Built Environment Policy

CDC – Designing and Building Healthy Places

Technical Assistance

Technical assistance (TA), also commonly referred to as “consulting,” is the process of providing targeted support to an organization with a development need or problem. TA can be delivered in many different ways, such as one-on-one consultation or small-group facilitation. It can also effectively increase the capacity—the ability of community members to make a difference over time and across different issues—of a community or organization.

At BEDHD, we have learn and practice a variety of techniques and methods to help educate, organize, and motivate communities and to analyze and evaluate policies. Because community support and engagement is a necessary part of building community capacity to address health, we have a vested interest in aiding our communities in moving toward this goal. Our experience and expertise can help us to help you move toward a healthier community.

Examples of situations where a government body or community group might want to request TA or community consulting include the following:

  • Gathering community input for a Master Plan revision
  • Assisting with local data for a grant application
  • Developing and researching potential local policy changes
  • Increasing involvement from at-risk populations
  • Helping a group write a strategic plan for action

At BEDHD, we have staff members who are experts in many methods of TA and consulting. See below for a full description of each method.

If you are interested in learning more about the TA and community consulting that BEDHD offers, or if you are interested in having us work with you on a project, please contact Abigail Lynch, Community Health Promotion Specialist. We are able to provide most one-time assistance for free, depending on the scope and type of the project. If a project is very large in scope, we may not be able to assist, but we can try to provide you with helpful resources. By working together with governments and community groups, we hope to improve the overall health of everyone in our communities!

Types of Technical Assistance Offered


Facilitation

A facilitator is someone who helps a group of people understand their common objectives and assists the group in planning and achieving their objectives without taking a particular position in the discussion. Trained facilitators can help groups come to a consensus on their best ideas.

Community Dialogue

Community dialogue is a type of facilitation that engages people from across the community. A typical community dialogue involves people from different parts of the community and with different perspectives on a key problem. The facilitator helps the group identify and prioritize a variety of solutions.

Community Engagement

Often it is important to make sure that our plans and actions are grounded in the reality of our community members. One way to make sure things are relevant is to engage the community in the development of programs, services, and decision-making.

Data Collection, Analysis, Interpretation, and Sharing

We can help you find data that’s relevant to the topic of interest, and assist in analysis and interpretation. We are experts in presenting data in a simple, clear way that regular people can easily understand and use to make decisions.

HIA (Health Impact Assessment)

Health impact assessment (HIA) is a tool that can help communities, decision makers, and practitioners make choices that improve public health through community design. It helps evaluate the potential health effects of a plan, project, or policy before it is built or implemented.


Performance Management, Quality Improvement, and Evaluation

For those who are interested in improving their services or checking to see what impact they had, we can share our experience.

Policy Research and Development

When communities are looking to make a broad impact on health, they often consider changes to policies or systems. We can help research and develop options for consideration. This might include policies both directly and indirectly related to health, such as transportation or housing.

Strategic Doing

Strategic Doing is a new strategy discipline specifically designed for open, loosely-connected networks. Unlike strategic planning that was designed primarily to guide strategic activity in hierarchical organizations, Strategic Doing is designed for situations in which nobody can tell anybody else what to do.

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning provides a blueprint for moving from dreams to actions to positive outcomes for your community. A strategic plan usually includes developing a vision, mission, goals, strategies, objectives, and action plans. A strategic plan answers the questions “What should we do?” and “How should we do it?

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