Public Health Issues Forum

What public health issues are most important to the u–p?

Health experts from across the region got together in Marquette to talk about them and what can be done about them.

The Michigan Department of Community Health held the meeting at Northern Michigan University.

People around the U.P. who work in health–related fields discussed areas of concern they have and health areas where they feel they’re doing well.

Marquette County Health Department health officer Fred Benzie says the U.P. is improving its prevention of underage and binge drinking, as well as improving smoking prevention.

Some areas where they say the U.P. needs improvement are universal to Michigan, like obesity.

But there are other areas the U.P. doesn’t share.

Betsy Pash from the MCDH says the U.P. doesn’t have the teenage pregnancy problem that many other areas of the state do.

However, dental services aren’t as easily available in the U.P. as they should be — a problem the area does share with the Lower Peninsula.

By October, the MCDH will be able to use the feedback it receives to form a state health needs assessment.

Then the group will begin strategic planning, to improve on the areas people are mentioning.