Public Health Theme


A resilient Public Health system is important component for a community facing the changes in public health risks due to climate change. Climate change will bring extreme weather events which can cause an increase in public health needs. The capacity to respond to such events can overwhelm a local public health system. An adaptive public health system will be more resilient when extreme weather events occur in our region.

Latest Posts

Public Health and the Traverse Health Clinic

This weeks conversation continues our talk about the general topic of public health. Dave is joined by Arlene Brennan, long time administrative director of the Traverse Health Clinic, and Dr. Lynn Swan the new Medical Director. The Traverse Health Clinic provides free medical care to the underserved of Grand Traverse, Benzie, and Leelanau counties. Like many free clinics this one sees patients are usually in serious and timely need. Residents needing free services often wait until their medical needs are acute or critical and while much of the clinic's work is focused on these short term needs, the clinic does more than just "bandage-up" its clients. It acts as an entry point for their patients into the full scope of the medical system. Brennan explains this clinic is highly networked with a wide variety of medical services, institutions, and practitioners who all plug into the clinics free work. The network is critical to expanding the clinics impact and has been a long work in progress over several decades.  Networked leadership is critical to a community's resilience and the networked partnerships that are part of Traverse Health Clinic make this a broad community effort to provide for our underserved neighbors

Midwives Build Social Capital and Community Resilience

Off on a book signing tour, Geradine Simkins, joins us for a discussion of midwives and the importance of midwifery to local communities. Child birth constitutes the largest single profit sector for the American medical industry and judging from statistics our nation is failing to get its money's worth. The US ranks 30th in infant mortality, worldwide, and 49th in maternal mortality. Midwives offer the very real choice to counter the failures of medical the industry, provide optimal care and outcome for child and mother, cost far less and keeping that money circulating in the local economy, and  building social capital as public health, the health and care of new borns and mothers is improved.

Local Food Effort Starts New Programs

Diane Conners rejoins Outside In for further updates on the local food movement in NW Michigan. She is joined by her colleague from the Michigan Land Use Institute, Janice Benson. Both work in leadership positions developing our local food economy and each talks about new programs being launched this spring season.  Double Up Food Bucks and the Spend Ten Campaign have multiple goals: to increase local food consumption and to increase consumption of healthier foods by those with more limited resources who often get locked into buying cheaper less healthy food.  Both women emphasized the integration and networking of multiple public agencies and organizations in developing these programs and their local, 'grassroots' origins, building resilience through increased diversity of food choices and increased social capital.

Bruce Cozzens joins Dave

This week Dave has a discussion with Dr. Bruce Cozzens, a veterinarian in the Grand Traverse region for more than 30 years. Cozzens brings his own observations to bear on the threat to our pets posed by changing climate and the changing bug population that comes with it. Ticks! Cozzens shows in increase in tick populations farther and farther north in Michigan. The latest news is that ticks that carry Lyme disease are now endemic to Leelanau and Grand Traverse Counties, being added from just the latest survey results. His own practice has shown a significant increase in tick related diseases. Pets can not adapt to such rapidly changes. These pests are new and so are the diseases. Human must be responsible to protect their pets. Tick born diseases pets face often threaten humans as well, like Lyme disease. We too need to be knowledgeable and adaptable.

Dave talks with Fred Keeslar

This discussion moves from 'household preparedness' to public health issues related to resilience.  Dave talks with Fred Keeslar, Director of the Public Health Department and Health Officer for Grand Traverse County. The discussion seeks to differentiate public health from personal health care. What are the measures of public health, and what is the role of the Health Department and the public health profession in maintaining the health of the community?  Keeslar details how much of the work goes well beyond vaccinations and involves constant monitoring of known diseases and other biological threats, as well as developing plans to handle expected and unexpected threats. Keeslar believes 9/11 and the homeland security efforts have vastly improved communication links between critical emergency management agencies and groups.

Home Preparedness

This program is about Home Preparedness. Dave talks with Sarah Benson, Wexford County Emergency Management Coordinator about how to be prepared at home for any natural disaster or other calamity. Dave also interviews Ernie Abel on the status of local ham radio preparedness.