The Charles Stewart Mott Department of Public Health Becomes the First Philanthropically Named Department at Michigan State University

On December 16, 2022, the Charles Stewart Mott Department of Public Health became the first fully philanthropically named department at Michigan State University. Thanks to a $25 million dollar grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, MSU is expected to add +200 new jobs.

In fall 2024, construction began on an additional 40,000 square feet of public health space to the former Flint Journal building, which is owned by Uptown Reinvestment Corporation, a Mott grantee leading the charge in Flint’s ongoing revitalization. The new space will be used for research and learning, shared student space and study rooms, clinical skills examination rooms, suites, offices, and more.

Division of Public Health Established in Flint
In 2012, MSU’s College of Human Medicine received $2.8 million in grants from Mott to pursue the expansion of medical education in Flint and to discover areas of research interest for the community’s most pressing public health needs.

In November 2014, the college unveiled 40,000 square feet of new medical education and public health research space in the historic Flint Journal Building. The medical school’s expansion was made possible by more than $11 million in grants from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the ongoing medical education support by MSU’s hospital partners Ascension Genesys Hospital, Hurley Medical Center, and McLaren Flint. At this time, MSU’s Flint-based public health experts began implementing programs and research initiatives in collaboration with the Flint community.

Highlights of public health in action include:

  • Uncovering the Flint water crisis and leading recovery efforts with the Flint Registry
    In 2015, Mona Hanna-Attisha’s discovery of elevated blood lead levels in Flint’s children was tied to a switch in the city’s water source and improper treatment of the water. MSU has been dedicated to lead recovery efforts through the Flint Registry, providing support and resources with more than 30,000 referrals to services for those impacted by the water crisis.
  • Helping children grow up healthy and strong
    The MSU-Hurley Children’s Pediatric Public Health Initiative is a model health equity program, with the mission to improve health outcomes for Flint kids and kids everywhere. A multidisciplinary team of experts works in partnership with a parent and youth.
  • Scaling mental health solutions
    Jennifer Johnson and a team of clinician researchers and community members work closely to improve mental and maternal health with more than $53M in NIH funding.
  • Addressing racial health disparities
    Todd Lucas and the Serological Sciences Network for COVID-19 works in partnership with the Flint Community Based Organizations and Partners (CBOP) to educate the Flint community on the value of antibody testing in the fight against COVID-19.
  • Working directly with Flint youth
    Kent Key works directly with Flint youth through the Flint Public Health Youth Academy (FPHYA). The academy is designed to provide early engagement and career exploration for Flint area youth, with a specific focus on underrepresented minorities.