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MVC Celebrates National Rural Health Day with MyMichigan Workgroup Presentation

MVC Celebrates National Rural Health Day with MyMichigan Workgroup Presentation

Today is National Rural Health Day. Since 2010, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health set aside the third Thursday of every November to highlight the unique healthcare challenges facing residents within rural communities and celebrate providers who deliver innovative, affordable, and coordinated rural healthcare. MVC’s current membership includes 44 hospitals based in rural communities, 22 of which are designated as Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). In tribute to National Rural Health Day and the needs of its growing rural membership, MVC hosted a special rural health workgroup yesterday.

The workgroup featured a guest presentation by Stephanie Pins, MSA, CPHQ. Pins is the Director of Quality, Risk, and Compliance for MyMichigan Medical Center Sault, formerly War Memorial Hospital, and is co-leading the Health Equity Council for MyMichigan Health. She led the creation of a transportation program for War Memorial Hospital by working with local transportation companies and applying for grants to cover the cost of the program.

This guest presentation focused on how MyMichigan is supporting rural communities through their Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) Project, and the steps their team took to develop this program. Beginning in 2024, CMS will require that hospitals screen admitted patients for five social determinants of health (SDOH) domains. One of those five required domains is transportation needs since access to transportation and distance to care have a significant impact on healthcare outcomes.

MyMichigan Medical Center Sault primarily services the very rural communities of Chippewa, Luce, and Mackinac counties, located in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. A resident of Drummond Island—part of Chippewa County—may have to drive as many as 70 miles each way to get to an appointment at MyMichigan Medical Center Sault. Limited vehicle access in this part of the state was highlighted recently at MVC’s fall collaborative-wide meeting; the eastern Upper Peninsula had some of the highest rates in the state for housing units with no vehicle (Figure 1).

Figure 1.

While presenting, Pins emphasized that once MyMichigan identifies a need through screening, the next step is to find a way to connect those patients with the assistance they need to access medical care. One transportation solution utilized by MyMichigan Medical Center Sault is the Road-to-Recovery program, offered in partnership with McLaren Northern Michigan in Petoskey. The MyMichigan Medical Center Sault location offers some oncology cancer treatment services, but not radiation, so patients may need to travel to Petoskey—a distance of over 90 miles—to receive radiation therapy as part of their cancer treatment. The fully funded Road-to-Recovery program is available five days a week free of charge to anyone in the eastern Upper Peninsula. A hospital-owned van is driven by a volunteer driver from the MyMichigan Medical Center Sault location to scheduled pick-up locations along the I-75 corridor to Petoskey. Service times are coordinated with McLaren Northern Michigan’s oncology group so all the patients using this service have aligned appointment times. Pins shared that one noteworthy ancillary benefit of this program has been the peer support and relationship building that resulted from patients traveling together for extended periods while going through a similar treatment experience.

A second transportation solution utilized by MyMichigan Medical Center Sault is the Rides-to-Wellness Program, a partnership effort with local transportation companies and Connect UP. Patients can use this service to travel to other appointments or patient care services and serves as a critical stopgap in ensuring patients have somewhere to turn for time-sensitive transportation needs. Pins shared that the patient testimonials from those utilizing the service are helpful evidence of its value to the eastern Upper Peninsula (Figure 2).

Figure 2.

MyMichigan Medical Center Sault identified several lessons learned from delivering its Rides-to-Recovery Program over the last 10 years and applied many of those lessons to the development of its more recent Rides-to-Wellness Program. Pins also shared several tips for starting similar hospital-based transportation support programs at other locations throughout the state (Figure 3).

Figure 3.

Those who missed the workgroup and would like to learn more about these two programs, how they are managed, and how they were developed can review the full recording here. MVC is excited to offer a new rural health workgroup series quarterly in 2024. Contact MVC if you are interested in receiving invitations to those workgroups.

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MVC Announces Registration, Speakers for its Oct. 20 Fall Collaborative-Wide Meeting

MVC Announces Registration, Speakers for its Oct. 20 Fall Collaborative-Wide Meeting

The MVC Coordinating Center is excited to announce open registration for its upcoming Fall Collaborative-Wide Meeting on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., in Lansing, MI. This meeting’s theme is “High-Value Care for All: Collaborative Approaches to Equitable Healthcare,” and will focus on how interdisciplinary collaboration can support efforts to reduce disparities and provide equitable healthcare.

This meeting will include presentations on health equity frameworks for quality improvement, insights from claims-based data, and inter-organizational partnerships to improve patient outcomes. MVC is thrilled to be joined by Renée Branch Canady, PhD, MPA, CEO of the Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI), as its keynote speaker. Dr. Canady has extensive experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, and was recognized as Crain’s 2021 Notable Executives in DEI. She received this honor for her work implementing incremental changes in health equity and social justice at MPHI. Under her leadership, MPHI established the Staff of Color Affinity Group, the Center for Health Equity Practice (CHEP), and the Center for Culturally Responsive Engagement (CCRE). She also recently published a new book titled Room at the Table: A Leader’s Guide to Advancing Health Equity and Justice.

The MVC Coordinating Center will also present MVC data linked with supplemental social determinants of health data sets, updates about the MVC Component of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) Pay-for-Performance (P4P) Program, and other Coordinating Center updates.

MVC’s fall collaborative-wide meeting will also feature a new roundtable format with insights from a wide variety of guest speakers, including Nora Becker, Michigan Medicine; Diane Hamilton, Corewell Health Trenton; Matthias Kirch, Michigan Social Health Interventions to Eliminate Disparities (MSHIELD); Laura Mispelon, Michigan Center for Rural Health; Amanda Sweetman, the Farm at Trinity Health; Larrea Young and Noa Kim, Healthy Behavior Optimization for Michigan (HBOM); and Thomas West, U-M Health West. Attendees will rotate through several mini-presentations and discussions about specific health equity topics, such as demographic data collection and patient screening practices, developing and funding community benefit programs, addressing transportation access barriers, support programs within rural communities, tobacco cessation interventions, financial toxicity risks for patients, and more.

Attendees will have multiple opportunities to network and learn from their peers. The meeting includes a mid-day poster session to highlight success stories and research across the collaborative and the broader CQI portfolio. MVC is still actively accepting poster submissions through 10/5/2023 that feature first-hand experiences with quality improvement, related research, or the implementation of interventions and best practices. They can be on topics unrelated to health equity or MVC conditions/data, authored by clinicians and non-clinicians alike, or presentations already shared at a recent conference or event. Instructions for submitting a poster are available on MVC’s events page. The meeting also includes breakout sessions in the afternoon focused on regional trends and opportunities using MVC data and member insights, as well as an optional networking reception at the conclusion of the event, from 3-4 p.m.

Those able to attend MVC's fall collaborative-wide meeting may register here. MVC hosts two collaborative-wide meetings each year to bring together healthcare quality leaders and clinicians from across the state.


The University of Michigan Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The University of Michigan Medical School designates this live activity for a maximum of 3.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Activity Planners

Hari Nathan, MD, PhD; Erin Conklin, MPA; Chelsea Pizzo, MPH; Chelsea Andrews, MPH; Kristy Degener, MPH

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MVC Data Used to Investigate Impact of Unmet Social Needs on Postpartum Contraceptive Use

MVC Data Used to Investigate Impact of Unmet Social Needs on Postpartum Contraceptive Use

After childbirth, all individuals should have access to patient-centered counseling about birth spacing, and, if desired, contraceptive methods to help fulfill their personal reproductive goals. Promoting patient-centered contraceptive care and equitable access to contraceptive methods for those who desire them may improve population health outcomes.

Researchers and medical professionals are increasingly recognizing the impact of social determinants of health (SDOH) on individuals’ access to care and overall health outcomes. Unmet social needs may affect contraceptive initiation after childbirth by influencing individuals’ preferences for future childbearing, as well as individuals’ access to high-quality contraceptive care. To better understand this relationship, a group of clinician investigators used MVC data in a paper published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology to evaluate the association between living in a neighborhood with high social vulnerability and the use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) and sterilization methods during the postpartum period.

Lead author Michelle H. Moniz, MD, MSc, Program Director of the Obstetric Initiative (OBI), and her colleagues utilized MVC administrative claims data to identify childbirth episodes from Jan. 2016 to Dec. 2019 with outcomes including LARC and sterilization use by 60 days into the postpartum period. Social vulnerability was determined using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Social Vulnerability Index (SVI). The SVI measures a community’s economic and social resilience by integrating 15 U.S. Census variables to generate composite scores across 4 themes: socioeconomic status, household composition and disability, minority status and language, and housing type and transportation.

In 140,345 delivery episodes at 79 hospitals, 8% of patients initiated LARC devices, and 8.3% initiated sterilization by 60 days postpartum. Dr. Moniz and colleagues observed independent associations between social vulnerability and postpartum contraceptive use. It appeared that different SVI themes such as socioeconomic status, minority status and language, household composition and disability, and housing type and transportation aligned with varying use of LARCs or sterilization (Figure 1). Individuals living in neighborhoods with the highest socioeconomic vulnerability and minority status/language vulnerability were more likely to utilize LARC methods. Individuals living in neighborhoods with the highest household composition vulnerability were less likely to initiate LARC methods.

Figure 1. Adjusted LARC and Sterilization Use by 60 Days Postpartum (Using SVI Theme)

Conversely, sterilization was more likely among populations living in neighborhoods with highest housing/transportation vulnerability and less likely among those living in neighborhoods with highest socioeconomic vulnerability and minority status/language vulnerability.

Dr. Moniz and colleagues suggest that “structural factors—such as distance to clinic, fees for parking and transportation, clinic hours, childcare access, ability to miss work to seek healthcare, and out-of-pocket costs for healthcare—may affect postpartum contraceptive use.” They also note that more research is needed to fully understand the means by which SDOHs influence an individual’s healthcare preferences and choices. Additional investigations could shed light on the mechanisms by which unmet social needs influence reproductive wishes and access to patient-centered contraceptive counseling and methods after childbirth.

In all sectors of healthcare and medical research, but especially in maternal health where inequities in health outcomes have worsened in recent years, further studies must be done to better understand the impact of SDOHs. While medical advancements and the pursuit of best practices are critical to ensuring improvement in healthcare delivery, these innovations cannot impact outcomes for all patient populations until we understand the structural factors affecting patient access and goals.

MVC is committed to using data to improve the health of Michigan through sustainable, high-value healthcare. Therefore, one of MVC’s core strategic priorities is intentional partnerships with fellow Collaborative Quality Initiatives (CQIs) and quality improvement collaborators. MVC shares its data with clinical, administrative, and CQI experts for investigative analyses to help identify best practices and innovative interventions that help all members improve the quality and cost of care.

Publication Authors

Michelle H. Moniz, MD, MSc; Alex F. Peahl, MD, MSc; Dawn Zinsser, BA; Giselle E. Kolenic, MA; Molly J. Stout, MD, MS; Daniel M. Morgan, MD

Full Citation

Moniz, M. H., Peahl, A. F., Zinsser, D., Kolenic, G. E., Stout, M. J., & Morgan, D. M. (2022). Social vulnerability and use of postpartum long-acting reversible contraception and sterilization. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 227(1). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2022.03.031