West Michigan

The Alliance for Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan, one of RWJF’s Aligning Forces for Quality communities, has been working to close gaps in primary care by linking up patients with depression and other related conditions with care managers. These care managers connect these patients with community services and resources, and help them navigate their journey through a complex health care system.

These efforts are part of a larger primary care transformation in West Michigan, designed to improve care for this vulnerable population. ...

Depression can be debilitating. Major depression causes pain, disability, or even death and may also lead to workplace absenteeism. According to the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI), primary care doctors detect depression in patients only about 30 to 50 percent of the time. Typically, of the patients who do receive a diagnosis of depression, between 20 and 40 percent show improvement within one year. Primary care physicians have lacked the know-how, time, and other resources to help patients with depression get the treatment they need.

An innovative model for caring for frequent emergency department (ED) users is yielding positive outcomes in West Michigan. Under a grant from the Alliance for Health, leader of the Aligning Forces initiative in West Michigan, the Spectrum Health Medical Group Center for Integrative Medicine began its novel approach last year. The central goal of the Center for Integrative Medicine is to apply the bio-psycho-social model of care to an at-risk and non-mainstream patient population of west Michigan to improve health outside of the ED.


The Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) initiative in West Michigan is led by The Alliance for Health (the Alliance), a 60-year-old 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership corporation operating as a regional health improvement collaborative. The Alliance represents those who receive care, give care and pay for care, including providers, citizens, employers, community organizations, government, organized labor, academic institutions and health plans. Its mission is encouraging optimal health for all through high quality health care services at the lowest cost.

Visit the Alliance Website Here.

Visit the Alliance Public Reporting Website Here.

Contact Us

West Michigan
The Alliance for Health
1345 Monroe Ave NW
Suite 256
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Paul Brand
Executive Vice President