The first hearing of the new legislative session for the House Health Policy Committee was held Feb. 2. Led by Chair Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo), new committee members heard testimony from advocacy organizations about the state of public health in Michigan.
Laura Appel, executive vice president of government relations and public policy, MHA, joined the committee to provide testimony on the intersection between hospitals and health system and Michigan’s public health system. Her presentation focused on the role hospitals played over the first years of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing need for partnership on vaccination, addressing health inequity and improved emergency preparedness. The MHA submitted written testimony in addition to the in-person presentation to the committee.
“Lack of funding in core public health programs slowed the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and exacerbated its impact, particularly in low-income communities, communities of color and for older Americans – populations that experience higher rates of chronic disease and have fewer resources to recover from an emergency,” said Appel.
The testimony at this hearing was informational only and the committee did not discuss specific legislation. The MHA will continue to work closely with committee members to support and strengthen public health in Michigan.
Members with questions can contact Sean Sorenson at the MHA for more information.