Thanks to an intended $15 million “challenge” grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Flint moms and babies could soon benefit from an innovative program that boldly tackles a root cause of health disparities – poverty. Rx Kids will be the first citywide program in the United States to address maternal and infant poverty with the novel approach of unconditional cash allowances to ALL City of Flint pregnant moms and babies. 

Dr. Jennifer Johnson

Maternal mental health is a critical public health component of perinatal care and maternal safety. Postpartum depression can have lasting consequences for the mother, child, and family. After each birth, 1 in 7 women will experience postpartum depression.

Dr. Rick Sadler

We know that structural racism has far-reaching and enduring impacts on the built environment of neighborhoods and on the health of the people who live there. Structural racism both contributes to and is compounded by neighborhood disadvantagethe overconcentration of alcohol outletsthe incidence of firearm violencethe unequal redevelopment of urban areas via gentrification, and rates of childhood obesity.

Each year, the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) recognizes individuals or groups who have contributed significantly to creating and/or implementing policies or policy-based changes that support and positively impact the food and physical activity environment. The 2022 recipient of the Advisory Committee on Public Policy Health Promotion Policy Award is the Flint Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is enlisting experts and resources at Michigan State University to bolster the state’s fight against COVID, foodborne illnesses and more.

With three grants totaling more than $5 million, MSU and health care partners will help build up Michigan’s capacity to respond to the current pandemic and future pathogens. MDHHS created what it calls the Michigan Sequencing Academic Partnership for Public Health Innovation and Response, or MI-SAPPHIRE, with federal funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal of the program is to “address emerging disease threats and enhance the state’s ability to respond to those threats,” MDHHS announced.

Dr. Rodlescia Sneed

The number of individuals released from state and federal prison has increased substantially in recent years. According to The Bureau of Justice Statistics, in the United States, about 5 million formerly incarcerated adults (returning citizens) are under community supervision (e.g. probation or parole) at any given time. And these returning citizens face numerous barriers—inadequate housing, poverty, unemployment, and lack of access to nutritious food and physical activity.

Michigan State Public Health COVID-19  SeroNet Team in Action

A team of MSU researchers seeks answers to understand the barriers to COVID-19 antibody testing and vaccinations in Flint. A research team collects data to understand which public health communication strategies are most effective. Volunteers from the Flint Registry drive up to a “Root beer stand-style” testing station; MSU will compare antibody status to COVID-19 exposure and vaccination rates among Flint residents using a salivary testing tool.

Lead exposure from contaminated water has gotten much justifiable attention lately, but another major source lurks in the dust of countless older homes.

That is why Masako Morishita, PhD, an associate professor of family medicine in the MSU College of Human Medicine, is heading a study of whether portable air filters can mitigate lead exposure and reduce lead levels in the blood of children who live in older houses. Robert Wahl, DVM, MS, an assistant professor in the MSU Division of Public Health, Master of Public Health Program, is co-leading the study.

Dr. Debra Furr-Holden

Closing the racial gap in health outcomes and COVID-19 vaccination rates in Michigan as well as other states is the aim of Michigan State University researchers funded through a $6 million, one-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC grant is for the National Network to Innovate for COVID-19 and Adult Vaccine Equity, or NNICE project.

Dr. Todd Lucas

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer type diagnosed in the United States in both men and women. The American Cancer Society estimates there will be nearly 150,000 new cases in 2021 and over 50,000 deaths. But CRC is preventable and very treatable if caught early. “Disparities in CRC screening have persisted in the African American community, but we have the tools to do something about it. If Black Lives Matter, then Black health should matter too,” Todd Lucas.

Dr. Kent Key

Flint native, community advocate, and Michigan State University researcher, Kent Key, PhD, MPH, has been awarded a five-year, $622,835 grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to co-develop culturally appropriate family health history tools with African American community members.