HealthyTown-Everywhere debuts at Holiday Market in Royal Oak this Saturday

Dr. Paul Ehrmann, D.O., has been a family physician in the same location at 2033 Crooks Rd. in Royal Oak for the last 35 years.
“I’ve always been interested in preventative health and health and wellness, and now there’s a lot more interest in it,” he says. “I also feel philosophically that as physicians it’s our responsibility to reach out to the communities that we serve and help them on a preventative basis but also on an acute basis.”
Ehrmann is behind a new program launching this Saturday, July 16, called HealthyTown-Everywhere, a partnership between his office, Holiday Market in Royal Oak, the Michigan State College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Coordinated Dietetics Program at Wayne State University.
He says this program came about as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
“There were suddenly more people in the system and more demand, so I thought, maybe we should be going out to the people and helping them,” Ehrmann says. “I’ve always enjoyed lifestyle and behavior management, nutrition, and fitness education, but the nutrition piece is always the hardest thing to change. If there are concerns about weight, that’s the first area to delve into. I wanted to use the supermarket as a venue because people go to them.”
He says that realization struck him about a year ago, at which point he decided to get a planning committee together and make this a community effort.
He reached out to the Royal Oak School District, Health Department, Chamber of Commerce, Michigan State College and Wayne State University, proposing representatives from each meet and come up with ideas for different products and services they wanted to offer. They met via webinars for nine months, and they decided a grocery store tour would be their first effort.
“I’ve done many of those when I worked successfully on childhood obesity,” says Ehrmann. “I also wanted university students involved because I wanted some sustainability to the program. I’m mentoring dietary students and getting them involved with leading tours and having this be a part of their educational experience during graduate and undergraduate training.”  
These grocery store tours, held at Holiday Market in Royal Oak, are a health and wellness program for the whole family and are completely free of charge.
“We want to educate people on food selection,” Ehrmann explains.
Medical students will also do blood sugar and blood pressure screening and there will also be registered and student dieticians on-hand.
The first tour is scheduled for this Saturday, July 16 at 10:30am. Families can sign up for free here, and can also take an additional anonymous pre-participation survey here to help Dr. Ehrmann and his partners get an idea for what people already know ahead of time. The next two events are scheduled for September 24 and November 3, giving them enough time in between events to analyze what they did and what they can do better.
Ehrmann’s long vision is to get primary care physicians in their own communities engage with grocery stores, chambers of commerce, universities, school districts, and health departments in order to do the same sort of thing.
“We hope we can create some value for some people.”