As many of my friends and fellow citizens know, my office organized and hosted a Health and Wellness Forum earlier this month. Many key stakeholders attended and participated in a rather robust discussion, and a number of citizens attended to observe. A diverse array of groups was represented, including St. Joseph Mercy Health System, Huron Valley Ambulance, Evangelical Homes of Michigan, Washtenaw County Health Department, our own Parks and Recreation
Department, to name a few.
The purpose of the discussion was to get community leaders around a single table to think strategically about our community’s health care needs and overall wellness. While a lot of pertinent information was shared at the event, we were under no illusions that we were going to be able to solve these major issues in a single meeting. I firmly believe that access to quality health care services and products is a fundamental right, and availability of such services is directly related to residents’ quality of life.
While the City of Saline is not in the business of providing health care services, I believe that it is incumbent upon leaders to help facilitate these discussions, and be energetic advocates for access to quality health care.
In that vein, our work will continue. We are currently in the process of organizing a second forum later this spring. The same organizations, and more, will be invited and encouraged to participate. When we reconvene, I will do what I can to encourage a more focused discussion on what are perceived to be the most critical needs and deficiencies. That includes emergency
services, mental health care, substance abuse and addition services, long-term care for the older adult community, encouraging healthy lifestyles, and better dissemination of information about what services are already available.
These are critically important issues, and I hope that if my fellow citizens have thoughts or suggestions, they will weigh in on the discussion. These issues will continue to be priorities for me, and for city government.
Brian D. Marl
Mayor of Saline