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Category Archives: News

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.

Make this your year to quit!

Learn. Manage. Stop. These FREE classes will help you learn how to manage cravings, thoughts, and social relationships so you can become – and stay smoke-free. The more you try, the more likely you are to succeed!

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Grantees Announced!

Health Project Announces Community Benefit Board Initiative Grantees.
Funds support initiatives that address health needs identified in recent Community Health Needs Assessment.

Muskegon, MI, August 24, 2016 – The Health Project’s Advisory Board of Directors announced their grantee recipients of the Community Benefit Initiative Grant Program. Grantees will be able to utilize their funds starting August 2016 through June 2017.

A total of $125,000 has been granted to this year’s grantees: Catholic Charities West Michigan’s substance abuse counseling program, Christians for Healthcare’s community outreach and screening program, Salvation Army’s food pantry, Montague Public School’s food service program, Volunteer for Dental Care access program, Boys and Girls Club children’s health and well-being programs, Kids’ Food Basket expansion of the Sack Supper program, Oceana Hispanic Center’s family nutrition education program, and Senior Resources home-based services.

The Community Benefit Initiative Grant program was created to facilitate the investment of community benefit funds by the Health Project’s Board of Directors into the community. This fund supports initiatives that address health needs identified in Mercy Health’s most recent Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). To view the full CHNA report, please visit www.MercyHealth.com\CHNA

Stevi Riel, executive director of the Health Project, feels strongly that community partnerships are critical to making progress in the improvement of health behaviors in Muskegon and Oceana Counties. “The Community Benefit Initiative Grant program is an opportunity for us to invest in our community and put our Community Health Needs Assessment into action. Improving the health of the population isn’t a task that can be accomplished by one entity or group – we all have to commit to recognizing our place and moving forward together.  The best investment for Mercy Health Muskegon is in the organizations that have experience – and the outcomes – doing  the work that drives change at the community level.”

Grants are awarded once a year. Applications for the next round will be available March 2017. Visit our website for announcements and upcoming grant opportunities.

About the Health Project:

The Health Project, the Community Benefit Ministry of Mercy Health Muskegon, has been an inclusive, community-based, decision-making, non-profit agency committed to improving the health of the community and the delivery of health care in Muskegon County and the surrounding West Michigan region since 1992. For more information about the Health Project, to download a copy of the CHNA report and to learn more about what they do, please visit www.mchp.org

 

Harbor Hospice Assists with Five Wishes

Tanglewood-5 Wishes Flyer JPGHarbor Hospice staff is available to assist community members with developing Advance Directives. This includes choosing someone to make future medical decisions and creating goals for medical care in the event of a life threatening injury or end-of-life condition.

Staff is available every 2nd Thursday of every month from 10am – 12pm. Tanglewood Park is located at 560 Seminole Rd. Muskegon, MI 49441.

Interested? Give Tanglewood Park AgeWell Office a call at 231-733-8643 to schedule an appointment. Click on the flyer below.

Charted Offers 5 Wishes Flyer

For more information, visit http://harborhospicemi.org/

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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

Melissa Wikman

Executive Director of the Muskegon YMCA

The Muskegon YMCA has been a constant in our community since 1916 promoting youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility through programs and activities.

what’s happening

Charted Releases New Advance Care Directives Resources to the Community.

Charted Healthcare Planning Coalition is introducing a new advance directive and is increasing its effort to see more completed advance directives in our region. The new advance …

Health Project Announces Community Benefit Board Initiative Grantees

Funds support initiatives that address health needs identified in recent Community Health Needs Assessment

The Health Project’s Advisory Board of Directors announced their grantee recipients of the …

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 …

staff highlight

Dawn Rymal

Community Health Worker

Dawn is bridging the gaps between school and community resources for students at Oakridge Public Schools.

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