Center for Health and Community Impact

The Center for Health and Community Impact was founded by educators, clinicians, practitioners, evaluators, researchers, and community leaders at Wayne State University who are committed to advancing health and social equity at local, regional, and national levels.
Location: Detroit

Description

No description provided.
Farmers Market Initiative: Connecting Detroit Youth and Seniors to Markets

About

Detroit-based initiative launched in 2016 aimed at providing nutrition education to high school youth (grades 9-12) and seniors (ages 55 and older), while connecting them with community-based farmer’s markets and other food access initiatives. This pilot will provide an in-depth examination of process and feasibility factors associated with the development of a multi-component environmental intervention designed to increase access to local farmer’s markets in low-income populations to improve knowledge, attitude and perception towards farmer’s markets and increased F&V consumption.

With initial funding from the Michigan Fitness Foundation (ending in April 2017), six Michigan Harvest of the Month (MiHOTM) lessons were delivered in three Detroit high schools across 10 classrooms, reaching 350 youth. The same six MiHOTM lessons were prepared for two Detroit senior centers, adapting specific material for seniors, and delivering the lessons to over 400 seniors. Both youth and senior classroom lessons included various nutrition handouts, such as recipe cards, and also integrated three taste tests during the duration of the six lessons.

Both youth and seniors were transitioned from classroom-based lessons to farmer’s markets, providing “Market Days” at two Detroit farmer’s markets throughout summer 2016. Each “Market Day” was accompanied with market tours, mini MiHOTM lessons, taste test, cooking demonstrations and recipe cards/handouts.

Accompanying the MiHOTM lessons were material on food access initiatives, such as food procurement and farmers market currency (EBT, SNAP, Double Up Food Bucks, WIC, SENIOR Fresh, etc.). The intention of incorporating both nutrition and food access lessons was to provide youth and seniors with a more holistic understanding of food sovereignty and food equity. While the focus was to improve access to farmer’s markets to improve F/V intake, understanding and navigating a food system was also an equally important component of the pilot.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

The Youth and Seniors to Market program is aimed at providing a series of evidence-based nutrition education sessions to Detroit Youth and Detroit Seniors, followed by connecting them with community-based farmers markets and other food access initiatives. The purpose of this program is to:

•Increasing knowledge of farmer’s markets, including perception and self-efficacy •Addressing policy and environmental changes to improve farmers market access in low income communities •Understanding the built environment, community level factors and related public policies to accessing farmers markets

Back to Top

Program Description

Farmers' markets are an increasing priority for communities and health advocates. Understanding attitudes towards fruits and vegetable (F&V) consumption, while also addressing policy and environmental changes can help improve diet and reduce disease risk.Youth-to-Market and Seniors-to-Market are a Wayne State University (WSU) initiative launched in 2016 to understand fresh fruit and vegetable purchasing habits among Detroit youth (grades 9-12) and Detroit seniors (ages 55 and older) at Detroit farmers' markets using established relationships and community resources.

This pilot provides an in-depth examination of process and feasibility factors associated with the development of a multi-component environmental intervention designed to increase access to local farmer’s markets in low-income, minority, urban settings to improve knowledge, attitude and intention towards farmer’s markets and increased F&V consumption.

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

Detroit youth and seniors face significant health disparities and preventable poor health outcomes as a result of health, education, social and economic disparities, including higher than average rates of type 2 diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, and poor academic achievement. Over 68% of Detroit residents are overweight or obese2, where 22.7% of Wayne County residents are food insecure, which is higher than Michigan (19%) and the nation (16.6%)3.

According to research, 50 percent of what makes us healthy are lifestyle behaviors, including nutrition and consumption of fruits and vegetables. Yet only four percent of health spending aims to increase these healthy behaviors, while 88 percent of spending funds medical services to treat health issues, rather than prevention4. As discussed in Governor Snyder’s Michigan Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan5, having access to healthy and affordable foods is one of four behaviors which will lead to healthier citizens, and thereby reduce rising obesity-related healthcare costs. As confirmed in other studies, individual and community health improves and health care costs decrease when individuals have access to nutritious foods, including access to urban farms, community gardens, farmers markets, produce markets, meat markets, food cooperatives, community-supported agriculture, and dairies1.

The city of Detroit is an important food system to study, having been in the center of research and policy discussions about defining urban food deserts and national food access metrics for almost a decade1. A widely cited study6 of the Detroit metropolitan area found poor neighborhoods with a high percentage of African American residents were on average 1.1 miles farther from supermarkets than poor neighborhoods with a low percentage of black residents. This study also found poor neighborhoods were farther from supermarkets than wealthier ones. Despite these adversities, Detroit embraces a vibrant food movement centered on these issues of creating an equitable food system that is fair and just for all.

The Farmers Market Initiative: Connecting Detroit Youth and Seniors to Markets aims to improve the health of youth, families, and seniors by connecting them with accessible, affordable community farmers markets to purchase fresh food while also addressing potential barriers to market engagement, perception, and healthy food consumption. Through increased use of farmers markets for Detroit youth and seniors, markets can help contribute to a richer food environment by serving as locations for direct purchase of fruits and vegetables, especially in areas with lower access to healthy food.

Recent research suggests that Detroit youth are consuming more calorically dense than nutritionally dense foods, impacting growth and development from an inadequate diet2.A poor diet is likely to affect academic performance in school due to absenteeism from illness, shorter attention spans, and behavioral issues, while also developing unhealthy eating habits, which impact long-term health.

The elderly, whose health is often more fragile than young and middle-aged people, are even more adversely impacted by poor diet and nutrition. A recent study7 found that more than 267,000 older adults in Michigan do not have enough money to cover their basic needs. Many older adults forgo buying food to pay for other expenses such as medicine or utility bills. While food assistance is helpful for many older adults living on fixed incomes, most still do not perceive farmers markets as safe, affordable and accessible places to purchase healthy food.

Providing affordable, healthy food choices and easy access to centrally located farmers markets is but one step toward impacting the health of Detroit youth, families and seniors. Understanding how to navigate the market, use SNAP benefits, and learn culturally appealing healthy food preparation methods are essential as well. Additionally, it’s vital to bridge the gap between diet and disease for youth as prevention and seniors as maintenance. It is also important that our community understands the connection between food access, diet and health outcomes, specifically the onset of obesity and obesity-related diseases. Far too many youth, seniors and families experience food insecurity, reflected in increased rates of obesity across all ages. Understanding Detroit’s food system and how to improve food access must be at the heart of addressing obesity and obesity-related diseases.

1D. E. Taylor and K. J. Ard (2015). Food Availability and the Food Desert Frame in Detroit: An Overview of the City’s Food System, Environmental Practice, 17 (2): 102–133.

2Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. (2015). Health Indicators and Risk Estimates by Community Health Assessment Regions & Local Health Departments, State of Michigan: Selected Tables Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey 2012-2014. Retrieved from http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdch/2012-2014_MiBRFS_Reg__LHD_Tables_FINAL_500165_7.pdf

3Data Driven Detroit (2015). Food Insecurity Across America. Retrieved from:

http://datadrivendetroit.org/food-accessibility/food-insecurity-across-america/

4Bipartisan Policy Center. Lots to Lose: How America’s Health and Obesity Crisis Threatens our Economic Future, 2012. Retrieved from www.bipartisanpolicy.org/projects/lots-lose.

5Michigan Department of Community Health. The Michigan Health & Wellness 4x4 Plan, 2012. Retrieved from www.michigan.gov/healthymichigan.

6S. N. Zenk, A. J. Schulz, B. A. Israel, S. A. James, S. Bao, and M. L. Wilson. (2005). Neighborhood Racial Composition, Neighborhood Poverty, and the Spatial Accessibility of Supermarkets in Metropolitan Detroit. American Journal of Public Health, 95(4): 660–667.

7Michigan Society for Gerontology (2016). Publications, Policy and Fact Sheets. Retrieved from: http://www.msginfo.org/issues_briefs/issues.html

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

The Center for School Health was founded in 2010 after a decade
leading community health programs and conducting best practice and
impact research. In 2016, the Center was re-launched as the Center for
Health and Community Impact to better convey the scope and evolution of
our work. Together, we are educators, clinicians, practitioners,
evaluators, researchers, and community leaders at Wayne State University
who are committed to advancing health and social equity at local,
regional, and national levels.

Alongside community partners, we develop and lead culturally
competent, evidence-based, and sustainable programs that transform the
healthy living opportunities for families, neighborhoods, and
organizations.

We conduct nationally-recognized research,
evaluation, and advocacy of community healthy programs to identify best
practices, health impact, and environmental improvement.

Collectively, our work promotes a holistic approach to health and social equity across the lifespan.

The Center's major accomplishments include:

  • Programs that have directly impacted more than 150,000 youth and families and 500 educators and health practitioners across 350 community organizations.
  • 234 Research publications
  • 289 National research publications
  • 28 Research and Community Engagement Awards
  • 17 Keynote Addresses
  • $7.8 million in external funding to support health promotion programs and research


Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

The Center measures program success through evidence-based program impacts and outcomes such an improved knowledge, skills and empowerment, and also behavioral change such as increased physical activity and fruit/vegetable consumption. Additionally, the Center measures success through environmental and/or policy change at the local, state and national level aimed at improving community health.

We believe our programs at the Center have been an asset to the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan, evident in the multitude of health and wellness grants/programs and partnership with numerous private and public organizations.

Back to Top

Farmers Market Initiative: Connecting Detroit Youth and Seniors to Markets

About

Detroit-based initiative launched in 2016 aimed at providing nutrition education to high school youth (grades 9-12) and seniors (ages 55 and older), while connecting them with community-based farmer’s markets and other food access initiatives. This pilot will provide an in-depth examination of process and feasibility factors associated with the development of a multi-component environmental intervention designed to increase access to local farmer’s markets in low-income populations to improve knowledge, attitude and perception towards farmer’s markets and increased F&V consumption.

With initial funding from the Michigan Fitness Foundation (ending in April 2017), six Michigan Harvest of the Month (MiHOTM) lessons were delivered in three Detroit high schools across 10 classrooms, reaching 350 youth. The same six MiHOTM lessons were prepared for two Detroit senior centers, adapting specific material for seniors, and delivering the lessons to over 400 seniors. Both youth and senior classroom lessons included various nutrition handouts, such as recipe cards, and also integrated three taste tests during the duration of the six lessons.

Both youth and seniors were transitioned from classroom-based lessons to farmer’s markets, providing “Market Days” at two Detroit farmer’s markets throughout summer 2016. Each “Market Day” was accompanied with market tours, mini MiHOTM lessons, taste test, cooking demonstrations and recipe cards/handouts.

Accompanying the MiHOTM lessons were material on food access initiatives, such as food procurement and farmers market currency (EBT, SNAP, Double Up Food Bucks, WIC, SENIOR Fresh, etc.). The intention of incorporating both nutrition and food access lessons was to provide youth and seniors with a more holistic understanding of food sovereignty and food equity. While the focus was to improve access to farmer’s markets to improve F/V intake, understanding and navigating a food system was also an equally important component of the pilot.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

The Youth and Seniors to Market program is aimed at providing a series of evidence-based nutrition education sessions to Detroit Youth and Detroit Seniors, followed by connecting them with community-based farmers markets and other food access initiatives. The purpose of this program is to:

•Increasing knowledge of farmer’s markets, including perception and self-efficacy •Addressing policy and environmental changes to improve farmers market access in low income communities •Understanding the built environment, community level factors and related public policies to accessing farmers markets

Back to Top

Program Description

Farmers' markets are an increasing priority for communities and health advocates. Understanding attitudes towards fruits and vegetable (F&V) consumption, while also addressing policy and environmental changes can help improve diet and reduce disease risk.Youth-to-Market and Seniors-to-Market are a Wayne State University (WSU) initiative launched in 2016 to understand fresh fruit and vegetable purchasing habits among Detroit youth (grades 9-12) and Detroit seniors (ages 55 and older) at Detroit farmers' markets using established relationships and community resources.

This pilot provides an in-depth examination of process and feasibility factors associated with the development of a multi-component environmental intervention designed to increase access to local farmer’s markets in low-income, minority, urban settings to improve knowledge, attitude and intention towards farmer’s markets and increased F&V consumption.

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

Detroit youth and seniors face significant health disparities and preventable poor health outcomes as a result of health, education, social and economic disparities, including higher than average rates of type 2 diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, and poor academic achievement. Over 68% of Detroit residents are overweight or obese2, where 22.7% of Wayne County residents are food insecure, which is higher than Michigan (19%) and the nation (16.6%)3.

According to research, 50 percent of what makes us healthy are lifestyle behaviors, including nutrition and consumption of fruits and vegetables. Yet only four percent of health spending aims to increase these healthy behaviors, while 88 percent of spending funds medical services to treat health issues, rather than prevention4. As discussed in Governor Snyder’s Michigan Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan5, having access to healthy and affordable foods is one of four behaviors which will lead to healthier citizens, and thereby reduce rising obesity-related healthcare costs. As confirmed in other studies, individual and community health improves and health care costs decrease when individuals have access to nutritious foods, including access to urban farms, community gardens, farmers markets, produce markets, meat markets, food cooperatives, community-supported agriculture, and dairies1.

The city of Detroit is an important food system to study, having been in the center of research and policy discussions about defining urban food deserts and national food access metrics for almost a decade1. A widely cited study6 of the Detroit metropolitan area found poor neighborhoods with a high percentage of African American residents were on average 1.1 miles farther from supermarkets than poor neighborhoods with a low percentage of black residents. This study also found poor neighborhoods were farther from supermarkets than wealthier ones. Despite these adversities, Detroit embraces a vibrant food movement centered on these issues of creating an equitable food system that is fair and just for all.

The Farmers Market Initiative: Connecting Detroit Youth and Seniors to Markets aims to improve the health of youth, families, and seniors by connecting them with accessible, affordable community farmers markets to purchase fresh food while also addressing potential barriers to market engagement, perception, and healthy food consumption. Through increased use of farmers markets for Detroit youth and seniors, markets can help contribute to a richer food environment by serving as locations for direct purchase of fruits and vegetables, especially in areas with lower access to healthy food.

Recent research suggests that Detroit youth are consuming more calorically dense than nutritionally dense foods, impacting growth and development from an inadequate diet2.A poor diet is likely to affect academic performance in school due to absenteeism from illness, shorter attention spans, and behavioral issues, while also developing unhealthy eating habits, which impact long-term health.

The elderly, whose health is often more fragile than young and middle-aged people, are even more adversely impacted by poor diet and nutrition. A recent study7 found that more than 267,000 older adults in Michigan do not have enough money to cover their basic needs. Many older adults forgo buying food to pay for other expenses such as medicine or utility bills. While food assistance is helpful for many older adults living on fixed incomes, most still do not perceive farmers markets as safe, affordable and accessible places to purchase healthy food.

Providing affordable, healthy food choices and easy access to centrally located farmers markets is but one step toward impacting the health of Detroit youth, families and seniors. Understanding how to navigate the market, use SNAP benefits, and learn culturally appealing healthy food preparation methods are essential as well. Additionally, it’s vital to bridge the gap between diet and disease for youth as prevention and seniors as maintenance. It is also important that our community understands the connection between food access, diet and health outcomes, specifically the onset of obesity and obesity-related diseases. Far too many youth, seniors and families experience food insecurity, reflected in increased rates of obesity across all ages. Understanding Detroit’s food system and how to improve food access must be at the heart of addressing obesity and obesity-related diseases.

1D. E. Taylor and K. J. Ard (2015). Food Availability and the Food Desert Frame in Detroit: An Overview of the City’s Food System, Environmental Practice, 17 (2): 102–133.

2Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. (2015). Health Indicators and Risk Estimates by Community Health Assessment Regions & Local Health Departments, State of Michigan: Selected Tables Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey 2012-2014. Retrieved from http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdch/2012-2014_MiBRFS_Reg__LHD_Tables_FINAL_500165_7.pdf

3Data Driven Detroit (2015). Food Insecurity Across America. Retrieved from:

http://datadrivendetroit.org/food-accessibility/food-insecurity-across-america/

4Bipartisan Policy Center. Lots to Lose: How America’s Health and Obesity Crisis Threatens our Economic Future, 2012. Retrieved from www.bipartisanpolicy.org/projects/lots-lose.

5Michigan Department of Community Health. The Michigan Health & Wellness 4x4 Plan, 2012. Retrieved from www.michigan.gov/healthymichigan.

6S. N. Zenk, A. J. Schulz, B. A. Israel, S. A. James, S. Bao, and M. L. Wilson. (2005). Neighborhood Racial Composition, Neighborhood Poverty, and the Spatial Accessibility of Supermarkets in Metropolitan Detroit. American Journal of Public Health, 95(4): 660–667.

7Michigan Society for Gerontology (2016). Publications, Policy and Fact Sheets. Retrieved from: http://www.msginfo.org/issues_briefs/issues.html

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

The Center for School Health was founded in 2010 after a decade
leading community health programs and conducting best practice and
impact research. In 2016, the Center was re-launched as the Center for
Health and Community Impact to better convey the scope and evolution of
our work. Together, we are educators, clinicians, practitioners,
evaluators, researchers, and community leaders at Wayne State University
who are committed to advancing health and social equity at local,
regional, and national levels.

Alongside community partners, we develop and lead culturally
competent, evidence-based, and sustainable programs that transform the
healthy living opportunities for families, neighborhoods, and
organizations.

We conduct nationally-recognized research,
evaluation, and advocacy of community healthy programs to identify best
practices, health impact, and environmental improvement.

Collectively, our work promotes a holistic approach to health and social equity across the lifespan.

The Center's major accomplishments include:

  • Programs that have directly impacted more than 150,000 youth and families and 500 educators and health practitioners across 350 community organizations.
  • 234 Research publications
  • 289 National research publications
  • 28 Research and Community Engagement Awards
  • 17 Keynote Addresses
  • $7.8 million in external funding to support health promotion programs and research


Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

The Center measures program success through evidence-based program impacts and outcomes such an improved knowledge, skills and empowerment, and also behavioral change such as increased physical activity and fruit/vegetable consumption. Additionally, the Center measures success through environmental and/or policy change at the local, state and national level aimed at improving community health.

We believe our programs at the Center have been an asset to the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan, evident in the multitude of health and wellness grants/programs and partnership with numerous private and public organizations.

Back to Top

Farmers Market Initiative: Connecting Detroit Youth and Seniors to Markets

About

Detroit-based initiative launched in 2016 aimed at providing nutrition education to high school youth (grades 9-12) and seniors (ages 55 and older), while connecting them with community-based farmer’s markets and other food access initiatives. This pilot will provide an in-depth examination of process and feasibility factors associated with the development of a multi-component environmental intervention designed to increase access to local farmer’s markets in low-income populations to improve knowledge, attitude and perception towards farmer’s markets and increased F&V consumption.

With initial funding from the Michigan Fitness Foundation (ending in April 2017), six Michigan Harvest of the Month (MiHOTM) lessons were delivered in three Detroit high schools across 10 classrooms, reaching 350 youth. The same six MiHOTM lessons were prepared for two Detroit senior centers, adapting specific material for seniors, and delivering the lessons to over 400 seniors. Both youth and senior classroom lessons included various nutrition handouts, such as recipe cards, and also integrated three taste tests during the duration of the six lessons.

Both youth and seniors were transitioned from classroom-based lessons to farmer’s markets, providing “Market Days” at two Detroit farmer’s markets throughout summer 2016. Each “Market Day” was accompanied with market tours, mini MiHOTM lessons, taste test, cooking demonstrations and recipe cards/handouts.

Accompanying the MiHOTM lessons were material on food access initiatives, such as food procurement and farmers market currency (EBT, SNAP, Double Up Food Bucks, WIC, SENIOR Fresh, etc.). The intention of incorporating both nutrition and food access lessons was to provide youth and seniors with a more holistic understanding of food sovereignty and food equity. While the focus was to improve access to farmer’s markets to improve F/V intake, understanding and navigating a food system was also an equally important component of the pilot.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

The Youth and Seniors to Market program is aimed at providing a series of evidence-based nutrition education sessions to Detroit Youth and Detroit Seniors, followed by connecting them with community-based farmers markets and other food access initiatives. The purpose of this program is to:

•Increasing knowledge of farmer’s markets, including perception and self-efficacy
•Improving attitudes towards F&V consumption
•Addressing policy and environmental changes to improve farmers market access in low income communities
•Recognizing barriers and other predictors of youth and seniors' intentions to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers' markets
•Understanding the built environment, community level factors and related public policies to accessing farmers markets

Back to Top

Program Description

Farmers' markets are an increasing priority for communities and health advocates. Understanding attitudes towards fruits and vegetable (F&V) consumption, while also addressing policy and environmental changes can help improve diet and reduce disease risk.Youth-to-Market and Seniors-to-Market are a Wayne State University (WSU) initiative launched in 2016 to understand fresh fruit and vegetable purchasing habits among Detroit youth (grades 9-12) and Detroit seniors (ages 55 and older) at Detroit farmers' markets using established relationships and community resources.

This pilot provides an in-depth examination of process and feasibility factors associated with the development of a multi-component environmental intervention designed to increase access to local farmer’s markets in low-income, minority, urban settings to improve knowledge, attitude and intention towards farmer’s markets and increased F&V consumption.

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

Detroit youth and seniors face significant health disparities and preventable poor health outcomes as a result of health, education, social and economic disparities, including higher than average rates of type 2 diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, and poor academic achievement. Over 68% of Detroit residents are overweight or obese2, where 22.7% of Wayne County residents are food insecure, which is higher than Michigan (19%) and the nation (16.6%)3.

According to research, 50 percent of what makes us healthy are lifestyle behaviors, including nutrition and consumption of fruits and vegetables. Yet only four percent of health spending aims to increase these healthy behaviors, while 88 percent of spending funds medical services to treat health issues, rather than prevention4. As discussed in Governor Snyder’s Michigan Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan5, having access to healthy and affordable foods is one of four behaviors which will lead to healthier citizens, and thereby reduce rising obesity-related healthcare costs. As confirmed in other studies, individual and community health improves and health care costs decrease when individuals have access to nutritious foods, including access to urban farms, community gardens, farmers markets, produce markets, meat markets, food cooperatives, community-supported agriculture, and dairies1.

The city of Detroit is an important food system to study, having been in the center of research and policy discussions about defining urban food deserts and national food access metrics for almost a decade1. A widely cited study6 of the Detroit metropolitan area found poor neighborhoods with a high percentage of African American residents were on average 1.1 miles farther from supermarkets than poor neighborhoods with a low percentage of black residents. This study also found poor neighborhoods were farther from supermarkets than wealthier ones. Despite these adversities, Detroit embraces a vibrant food movement centered on these issues of creating an equitable food system that is fair and just for all.

The Farmers Market Initiative: Connecting Detroit Youth and Seniors to Markets aims to improve the health of youth, families, and seniors by connecting them with accessible, affordable community farmers markets to purchase fresh food while also addressing potential barriers to market engagement, perception, and healthy food consumption. Through increased use of farmers markets for Detroit youth and seniors, markets can help contribute to a richer food environment by serving as locations for direct purchase of fruits and vegetables, especially in areas with lower access to healthy food.

Recent research suggests that Detroit youth are consuming more calorically dense than nutritionally dense foods, impacting growth and development from an inadequate diet2.A poor diet is likely to affect academic performance in school due to absenteeism from illness, shorter attention spans, and behavioral issues, while also developing unhealthy eating habits, which impact long-term health.

The elderly, whose health is often more fragile than young and middle-aged people, are even more adversely impacted by poor diet and nutrition. A recent study7 found that more than 267,000 older adults in Michigan do not have enough money to cover their basic needs. Many older adults forgo buying food to pay for other expenses such as medicine or utility bills. While food assistance is helpful for many older adults living on fixed incomes, most still do not perceive farmers markets as safe, affordable and accessible places to purchase healthy food.

Providing affordable, healthy food choices and easy access to centrally located farmers markets is but one step toward impacting the health of Detroit youth, families and seniors. Understanding how to navigate the market, use SNAP benefits, and learn culturally appealing healthy food preparation methods are essential as well. Additionally, it’s vital to bridge the gap between diet and disease for youth as prevention and seniors as maintenance. It is also important that our community understands the connection between food access, diet and health outcomes, specifically the onset of obesity and obesity-related diseases. Far too many youth, seniors and families experience food insecurity, reflected in increased rates of obesity across all ages. Understanding Detroit’s food system and how to improve food access must be at the heart of addressing obesity and obesity-related diseases.

1D. E. Taylor and K. J. Ard (2015). Food Availability and the Food Desert Frame in Detroit: An Overview of the City’s Food System, Environmental Practice, 17 (2): 102–133.

2Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. (2015). Health Indicators and Risk Estimates by Community Health Assessment Regions & Local Health Departments, State of Michigan: Selected Tables Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey 2012-2014. Retrieved from http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdch/2012-2014_MiBRFS_Reg__LHD_Tables_FINAL_500165_7.pdf

3Data Driven Detroit (2015). Food Insecurity Across America. Retrieved from:

http://datadrivendetroit.org/food-accessibility/food-insecurity-across-america/

4Bipartisan Policy Center. Lots to Lose: How America’s Health and Obesity Crisis Threatens our Economic Future, 2012. Retrieved from www.bipartisanpolicy.org/projects/lots-lose.

5Michigan Department of Community Health. The Michigan Health & Wellness 4x4 Plan, 2012. Retrieved from www.michigan.gov/healthymichigan.

6S. N. Zenk, A. J. Schulz, B. A. Israel, S. A. James, S. Bao, and M. L. Wilson. (2005). Neighborhood Racial Composition, Neighborhood Poverty, and the Spatial Accessibility of Supermarkets in Metropolitan Detroit. American Journal of Public Health, 95(4): 660–667.

7Michigan Society for Gerontology (2016). Publications, Policy and Fact Sheets. Retrieved from: http://www.msginfo.org/issues_briefs/issues.html

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

The Center for School Health was founded in 2010 after a decade
leading community health programs and conducting best practice and
impact research. In 2016, the Center was re-launched as the Center for
Health and Community Impact to better convey the scope and evolution of
our work. Together, we are educators, clinicians, practitioners,
evaluators, researchers, and community leaders at Wayne State University
who are committed to advancing health and social equity at local,
regional, and national levels.

Alongside community partners, we develop and lead culturally
competent, evidence-based, and sustainable programs that transform the
healthy living opportunities for families, neighborhoods, and
organizations.

We conduct nationally-recognized research,
evaluation, and advocacy of community healthy programs to identify best
practices, health impact, and environmental improvement.

Collectively, our work promotes a holistic approach to health and social equity across the lifespan.

The Center's major accomplishments include:

  • Programs that have directly impacted more than 150,000 youth and families and 500 educators and health practitioners across 350 community organizations.
  • 234 Research publications
  • 289 National research publications
  • 28 Research and Community Engagement Awards
  • 17 Keynote Addresses
  • $7.8 million in external funding to support health promotion programs and research


Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

The Center measures program success through evidence-based program impacts and outcomes such an improved knowledge, skills and empowerment, and also behavioral change such as increased physical activity and fruit/vegetable consumption. Additionally, the Center measures success through environmental and/or policy change at the local, state and national level aimed at improving community health.

We believe our programs at the Center have been an asset to the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan, evident in the multitude of health and wellness grants/programs and partnership with numerous private and public organizations.

Back to Top

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