Detroit Today: The importance of expanding access to healthcare in Detroit

With residents in Detroit experiencing worse healthcare outcomes than elsewhere in the region, one doctor describes efforts to change that.

In Michigan, residents of Wayne County and Detroit have disproportionately poorer health outcomes than their counterparts in the surrounding suburbs. Studies show that access to healthcare can be a leading driver in those outcomes.

One effort to increase access to healthcare in Detroit began in 2020 via the Wayne Health Mobile Unit. Initially created to help combat the early rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, it now operates out of vans — meeting residents where they are around the city of Detroit.

Listen: How the Wayne State Mobile Health unit seeks to bring healthcare to Detroit residents where they are.


Dr. Phil Levy is Wayne State University’s Health Chief Innovation Officer, a professor, doctor and leader of Wayne Health Mobile Unit. He stresses the need for accessible mobile health units in Detroit to meet residents where they are.

“We can identify medical risk and social needs,” says Levy, “and then deliver services to folks, linking them right on sight.”

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