President of the Economic Alliance for Michigan (EAM), Bret Jackson, had a goal for EAM to be a leader in healthcare policy and collaboration and an example for other employer coalitions across the country to learn from.
EAM has raised the bar for educational opportunities for members and the public with monthly Friday Forums and the annual EAM Health Purchaser Forum, which focus on relevant healthcare policy topics and benefits management. The organization has increased awareness of the importance of patient safety through their work with The Leapfrog Group and the EAM Hospital Patient Safety Awards.
Equity in healthcare and the workforce are now in the forefront of EAM’s agenda. One avenue the EAM is tackling this subject is through their Maternity Care Project. Started in 2018, the Maternity Care Project strives to decrease the amount of costly, unnecessary caesarean sections and the state’s infant mortality rate. Currently, the project is working with other organizations to define initiatives that will lessen the racial disparity gap between White and Black Infant death rates.
Other examples of EAM’s innovative thinking are collaboratives involving purchasers, providers, and consumers of healthcare to increase access to affordable therapies and medicines by hosting an ongoing series of Oncology Symposiums and pharmaceutical roundtable discussions.
“The EAM would not exist without the support and forward-thinking of our members,” said Jackson. “Our members are the most educated and creative in their industries and working with them is what inspires the EAM staff to what we do and be the best at it.”
The hard work is getting notice and EAM’s collective voice is getting louder.
In the first of half of 2021, the organization welcomed back Lear Corporation and the UAW Medical Benefits Trust and added Delta Dental of Michigan and Adient into the fold. EAM’s healthcare partnerships increased as well with the additions of Bayer, Eli Lilly, Walgreens, Medtronic, BizMed, Grail, WellSpark Health, Sandoz, Castlight Health and Capital Rx. The increase is due to the involvement of EAM members and the wonderful additional of Mike Grudzinski as the group’s director of membership and development.
Altogether, EAM’s membership provides health benefits to approximately 1.0 million Michiganders, and with many of the group’s members and healthcare partners having employees in multiple states, the voice of the EAM is getting recognition not only in Michigan but nationally as well. Through the organization’s work and involvement with the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, the EAM is becoming a national source for knowledge within the health policy and benefits management industries.
In 2022, the EAM will turn 40-years old and aims to continue its success for another 40 years by being the collective voice of Michigan’s purchasers and serving as a catalyst for change to ensure appropriate access to patient-centric, high-value healthcare for all.