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See the Results of Kick Butts Day 2017

Kick Butts Day, organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, is a national day created for youth to take control of their lives against Big Tobacco. The KnowSmoke Tobacco Reduction Coalition participates yearly in this national day to raise awareness about the harm and effects of smoking in Muskegon County.

This year, the KnowSmoke Tobacco Reduction Coalition partnered with the Muskegon High School Teen Health Center’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) to organize an event to educate students at Muskegon High School. The coalition members met with the YAC every other week to brainstorm ideas. In partnership with the recent Smokefree Movies Initiative, supported by Trinity Health, students wanted to tie in the smoke-free movies theme with the current Tobacco 21 Initiative.

The students created a survey and a poster containing the popular Disney movies Aladdin, 101 Dalmatians, The Little Mermaid, and Peter Pan. The movies selected had subliminal messages and scenes where tobacco products could be seen. Millions of youth were subjected to tobacco products. During the 2017 Oscars, 70% of nominated films rated PG-13 contained smoking.

On March 8th, large yellow posters hung in the cafeteria entrance with a letter to the president of Disney, Mr. Agar. Students anxiously waited to sign their names in favor of changing the ratings of Disney movies that contained tobacco use to an R rating. Surveys regarding the four Disney movies garnered these results:

  • 73% of students thought raising the age to purchase and use tobacco products from 18 years to 21 years old would reduce smoking rates and save lives.
  • 85% of students thought that 75% of all adult smokers began to smoke before the age of 21.
  • Only 21% of all students knew that 4 of the Disney Classics—The Little Mermaid, 101 Dalmatians, Aladdin, Peter Pan—had smoking in them.

On March 15th, a large Tobacco 21 Initiative banner was displayed in the cafeteria entrance at Muskegon High School. Students were eager to sign their names in favor of the age increase from 18 to 21 years old in Muskegon County. Several conversations and debates could be heard as students voiced their opinions about the suggested tobacco age increase. “My mom started to smoke before she graduated from high school,” a student was heard saying.

The banner containing over 100 youth signatures will be used for future Tobacco 21 Resolution of Support activities. These activities were an extension of the recent Resolution of Support signed by KnowSmoke Tobacco Reduction Coalition members and community members.

21% of all students at Muskegon High School got these questions right. Now it’s your turn. Can you, as a community, get these answers correct? We want to know! Please take our poll to see if you remember your favorite Disney movies. Please visit the Muskegon Health Project’s Facebook page to answer a poll. You have until April 21st to take the poll.

Mercy Health, as a regional entity, embraces a smoke-free environment across all campuses (including e-cigarettes) and national strategies to reduce and eliminate smoking in movies and media.

Click here for more information about Kick Butts Day.
Click here for more information about Tobacco 21.
Click here for more information about Smokefree Movies.
Click here to take the Smokefree Movies poll on the Health Project’s Facebook page.

Community Benefit Board Initiative Grants – Letters of Intent Due March 15th 5:00PM

The Project Advisory Board is requesting proposals for the FY18 Community Benefit Board Initiative Grants. The Community Benefit Board Initiative Grants are awarded yearly to organizations for programs that address ranked issues in the 2016 Mercy Health Community Health Needs Assessment. This grant is open to all non-profits in Mercy Health’s service area of Muskegon, Oceana and Newaygo Counties.

Funding request for up to $25,000 will be considered.

All applicants are required to submit a Letter of Intent on the form provided to be considered for funding.

Deadline for Letters of Intent is March 15th at 5:00 P.M.

Sr. Simone Courtade Grant Application Now Available – Letters of Intent Due March 13th

Sister Simone Courtade Grant Program was created by the Sisters of Mercy to support, strengthen and sustain our organizational Mission in the community. The specific intent of the fund is to help poor and underserved residents achieve a better quality of life by improving their health and overall well-being through investment in community programs that address community health needs.

Like all such programs, the demand for these funds exceeds availability. For this reason, we have developed specific guidelines for funding that are intended to ensure that each request is judged fairly and that all applicants adhere to the traditional mission and spiritual intent of the program. This process is to be an inclusive process with opportunity for submission open to all nonprofit community entities.

There are two tiers for awarded grants:

Tier I over $3,000 up to $10,000; and Tier II less than or equal to $3,000.

All applicants are required to submit a Letter of Intent on the form provided to be considered for funding.

Deadline for Letters of Intent is March 13th at 5:00 P.M.

Budget Template and Grant Application:

Muskegon County May Increase Tobacco Age to 21

One West Michigan county is a step closer to changing the age to buy tobacco products.

Muskegon County commissioners say they support changing the legal purchasing age from 18 to 21 years old. In an unanimous vote Tuesday night, the commissioners approved a resolution of support. Several things still need to happen for the resolution to become an ordinance, but the coalition behind the initiative feels the move was a step in the right direction.

“It’s a lot easier for me to keep a child from smoking than it is to get an adult to quit,” Cyndi Powers, the co-chair of the Knowsmoke Coalition, told 24 Hour News 8. “Over 83 percent of all of our adult smokers came from smoking households. So if we can keep kids from becoming that smoking generation, that’s what our mission is.” Though there’s still a long way to go before the change could happen, some area tobacco shop owners already worried.

“It’s going to affect a lot of industries. It’s going to affect the tobacco industry, regular store-bought cigarettes, the roll-your-own. It’s going to affect the vapers. It’s going to affect a lot of people,” said Rustyna Brewer, who owns the Tobacco Shack in North Muskegon. She told 24 Hour News 8 a big chunk of her store’s customers are under 21. “Raising the age, that’s going to take at least a third of our customers away and that, for small businesses, hurts,” Brewer said.

Despite concerns, the Knowsmoke Coalition thinks the change will be a positive for health and not a negative for business.

“When we did smoke-free bars and restaurants, we had the same concerns. Studies have shown us we did not see a decrease in their business, so we definitely will do our part as a coalition to educate the community and we’ll make sure we make it an easy transition for everyone,” Powers said.

Right now, Ann Arbor is the only city in Michigan where 21 is the minimum age to purchase tobacco products. The city council there adopted the ordinance in August.

Learn more about Tobacco 21 here.

Increase of Tobacco-Buying Age to 21 Proposed to County Commissioners

Muskegon County Board of Commissioners voted to approve a resolution that supports raising the minimum legal age to purchase tobacco products.

At a full board meeting Tuesday, Dec. 20, the commissioners unanimously voted to support an initiative called “Tobacco 21,” which aims to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21. Behind the resolution is the Knowsmoke Coalition, a Muskegon County anti-smoking group. The resolution was introduced at board committee meeting Thursday, Dec. 15. Cyndi Powers, Knowsmoke Coalition co-chair, said reducing young peoples’ access to tobacco is the group’s focus.

“Studies have shown if we keep a child from smoking until after they’re 21, the chances of them being a long-term addicted smoker is a lot less,” Powers said.

According to an update from the One in 21 initiative, which is striving to make Muskegon County the state’s healthiest county by 2021, the rate of adult smoking in the county improved to slightly below the state average. Kendall Stagg, director of safety net transformation and community health innovation for Trinity Health, said the next step is to inform the public about Tobacco 21. “Beyond 200 jurisdictions have passed this law, so it truly is a national movement, it’s sweeping the nation,” Stagg said.

California and Hawaii, in addition to 212 cities and counties in the United States, have banned tobacco sales to people younger than 21-years-old, according to the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation. In Michigan, Ann Arbor became the first city to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in the from 18 to 21. An ordinance was adopted by its city council in August.

Supporters of the Ann Arbor ordinance claimed it would make it harder for teens to be introduced to nicotine or tobacco products. However, opponents argued people younger than 21-years-old could drive to other municipalities to purchase those products.

Learn more about Tobacco 21 here.

January 2017 is RESILIENCE MONTH in Muskegon!

Building a more trauma-informed community, together.

Our community recently conducted an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) survey, finding a high prevalence of childhood trauma in adults living in Muskegon County. ACEs are directly connected to a wide host of health and social problems due to the impact of toxic stress on brain development and health and social behaviors. Learn more about Resilience Muskegon, a movement to educate the community about trauma and to develop brain-based approaches that will help heal individuals and provide connections within community.

The January 2017 Resilience Month Community Calendar is a growing list of events that promote community connections, positive relationships, and skill building. Click here to learn more and to view the ACES Muskegon Community Report and Resilience Month Community Calendar.

If you have an event you would like included on this calendar contact acesmuskegon@healthwest.net and your event will be included in the next calendar edition.

Muskegon Area Medication Disposal Program Take Back Continues to Hit Record Numbers

The Muskegon Area Medication Disposal Program (MAMDP) held its final event of the year on Saturday, October 22nd in downtown Muskegon with over 290 participants who dropped off 989 pounds of non-controlled and 65 pounds of controlled medications. In addition to the one-day take back numbers, the team collected 665 pounds from community and Mercy Health retail pharmacies as well as 966 pounds from permanent law enforcement collection boxes.

The City of Muskegon hosted the event at the Fire Station, where participants drove through the fire department bays to drop off their unwanted materials. Several volunteers were on hand to greet participants, collect materials, and provide enforcement support. Mercy Health pharmacy volunteers helped classify the collected materials.

“We continue to provide the one-day take back events in conjunction with the national DEA events to capitalize on the public awareness of properly disposing unwanted medications,” said Carrie Uthe, Chair of the MAMDP initiative. “After each of the one-day events, our team evaluates if they are still necessary, and this last one certainly proved we should keep going.”

The MAMDP initiative was started in 2010.  Since then, they’ve host several events per year and established permanent collection boxes at all Muskegon area law enforcement departments and several local pharmacies. To date, the group has collected well over 12.5 tons of materials. The Muskegon initiative has received national attention in the 2015 National Drug Control Strategy and listed as a best practice by the White House for Community Benefit projects.

Visit the MAMDP website here.

Over 200 Zombies Walk to Raise Awareness About the Dangers of Tobacco Use

The 2016 KnowSmoke Zombie Walk was a tremendous success with over 230 participants walking through downtown Muskegon on Saturday, October 15th. The fourth annual event promoted the next smoke-free generation message while highlighting the health risks of addiction and tobacco use.
zombies-2-1
The event started at the L.C. Walker Arena where participants could take advantage of classes on how to walk and dance like a zombie and have zombie makeup applied. As the horde descended upon Hackley Park, they were educated and entertained with educational skits, music, and dancing. This year’s event had help from the Hackley Community Care Teen Health Center’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC), who planned and implemented the walk, and Mona Shores High School, who developed promotional videos shared in the community. This KnowSmoke Zombie Walk was supported by 20 different organizations, and over 50 volunteer humans made the event possible. Each year, the zombies take over downtown Muskegon in support of becoming a smoke-free generation.

Stay tuned for more information at knowsmokezombiewalk.org.

Enroll West Michigan Takes It to the Streets

Several members of the Enroll West Michigan team went door to door in Muskegon County sharing information about enrollment resources in Muskegon County in anticipation of the November 1st Marketplace open enrollment start date. The group held three neighborhood canvassing events in Whitehall, Wolf Lake, and the Lakeshore neighborhood in October, with volunteers distributing over 2,100 door hangers.

Enroll West Michigan was founded in the spring of 2013, with over 15 organizations devoted to ensuring West Michigan residents are covered under the expanded Medicaid or the Federal Marketplace. This year, the effort expanded into Oceana County where enrollment specialists are also available in the community.

For information on our upcoming events, please contact Liz: 231-672-3201

You can also visit us online at enrollwestmichigan.org.

 

Charted Shares “Being Mortal” With the Community

2014-being-mortal-headshot-credit-tim-llewellyn-1The Charted Healthcare Planning Coalition sponsored several community screening events of Being Mortal, the award winning Frontline documentary featuring Dr. Atul Gawande. The documentary not only puts a human face on end-of-life issues, delving into the real hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness and the relationships they have with their doctors; but it also explores how healthcare professional are faced with the practice of caring for the dying.

The first Being Mortal screening event, hosted by Senior Resources, was held on Thursday, October 20th at Tanglewood Park with over 40 people in attendance.

“I feel like people came away from the event inspired and motivated to talk with their families and create a plan,” said Lisa Tyler, Charted Engagement Chair and host of the Senior Resources screening event.

In addition to the events, Charted has trained professionals to have conversations with people about their own wishes, family communication techniques, and how to fill out an Advance Care Directive. The Charted coalition was recently rebranded from the “End of Life” coalition to find a name more mindful and representational of the group’s efforts in helping people chart a course of life.

The group capitalized on the nationwide screenings events of Being Mortal. The documentary was partially supported with funds from the Hospice Foundation of America. Other events were held at Brookhaven Medical Care Facility, Four Points Center for Successful Aging in Grand Haven, and Mercy Health in Muskegon.

“Our efforts really are not about the end of life,” said Tyler. “They’re about helping people embrace life to the end. We are striving to share the tools to do this.”

Learn more about Charted here. 

upcoming events

May 11, 2017

Freedom From Smoking Classes Offered at Johnson Family Cancer Center

Freedom From Smoking, the leading adult smoking cessation program for over 30 years, shows you how to quit in a safe, supportive environment. You’ll be given the …

Jun 8, 2017

Freedom From Smoking Classes Offered at Johnson Family Cancer Center

Freedom From Smoking, the leading adult smoking cessation program for over 30 years, shows you how to quit in a safe, supportive environment. You’ll be given the …

our services

The Health Project provides a number of direct services to eligible members of the community. These services include the following programs:

community spotlight

Sarah De La Rosa

Case Manager at Mediation & Restorative Services

Sarah is passionate about reducing substance abuse among youth and young adults and is a member of ALI, part of the Coalition for a Drug Free Muskegon County.

what’s happening

See the Results of Kick Butts Day 2017

Kick Butts Day, organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, is a national day created for youth to take control of their lives against Big Tobacco. The …

Community Benefit Board Initiative Grants - Letters of Intent Due March 15th 5:00PM

The Project Advisory Board is requesting proposals for the FY18 Community Benefit Board Initiative Grants. The Community Benefit Board Initiative Grants are awarded yearly to organizations for …

Sr. Simone Courtade Grant Application Now Available - Letters of Intent Due March 13th

Sister Simone Courtade Grant Program was created by the Sisters of Mercy to support, strengthen and sustain our organizational Mission in the community. The specific intent of …

staff highlight

Cyndi Powers

Lakeshore Lung Program Coordinator

Cyndi has worked to reduce smoking rates in Muskegon County for 12 years.

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