U.S. Chamber Foundation Releases Research on Health and Nutrition in Western Michigan

August 7, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Amway today announced the release of a new report evaluating health and nutrition problems facing Kent County, Michigan. The study, “Assessing Community Efforts to Address Key Health Issues in Kent County, Michigan,” found that the county faces challenges similar to those experienced in other regions throughout the country – including maternal and child health, nutrition, and food security.

It also determined that learning from the experiences of other regions across the country could lead to positive changes, such as having a central organization to help achieve shared health goals and establishing mutually agreed-upon data measurement and data sharing. Additionally, the report recommended establishing a collective impactoriented coalition to create a common agenda for the achievement of community health goals.

“Improving nutrition and eliminating health disparities requires every sector to come together to find innovative solutions,” said Marc DeCourcey, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “There is great work being done in Western Michigan. Reviewing best practices from other areas of the country will enable Kent County to reach its full potential.”

Kent County’s Essential Needs Task Force is working to align measures already enacted in the county and to better define health goals. To help support this collective effort, Amway will award up to $300,000 in grants to local groups who develop proposals aimed at addressing a local health or nutrition challenge in the county.

“The people of West Michigan are known for their hard work and desire to help their neighbor and there are many groups doing good work to improve the nutrition opportunities and health of our community,” said Jeff Terry, global head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Amway. “We want to bring together the expertise that many local groups have along with national partners we work with to further address critical nutrition and health needs here in West Michigan.”

The research study is part of the inaugural Kent County Nutrition Summit, hosted by Amway in October 2017. The summit convened 100 representatives from Kent County nonprofits and businesses to discuss the region’s key health issues. The event also featured national best practices in crosssector partnerships that local groups could use to address those challenges.

 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center is a leading resource for businesses dedicated to making a difference. For more than 15 years, our programs, events, research, and relationships with key NGO and governments have helped businesses make the world a better place.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. We educate the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities, and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future.

Amway is an $8.6 billion direct selling business based in Ada, Michigan, USA. Topselling brands for Amway are Nutrilite™ vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements, Artistry™ skincare and color cosmetics, eSpring™ water treatment systems and XS™ energy drinks – all sold exclusively by Amway Business Owners. Global sales in 2016 made Amway the No. 1 direct selling business in the world, according to the 2017 Direct Selling News Global 100. The company’s annual sales figure includes revenue from direct selling operations and other business holdings. For company news, visit amwayglobal.com/newsroom.

In partnership with the U.S. Chamber Foundation, this unique oneday summit in October 2017 explored national crosssector partnerships and reviewed local community health challenges. Participants looked to further develop local collaborative partnerships in the areas of nutrition, food security, and child and maternal health and heard from national and local practitioners and explore how we can do more to improve nutrition here in Kent County.