HFRCC leadership

On Friday, March 15, 2019, the Healthy Flint Research Coordinating Center brings together researchers and practitioners to share public health research findings.

March 14, 2019

The Healthy Flint Research Coordinating Center (HFRCC) is a collaboration among the Community Based Organization Partners (CBOP), the National Center for African American Health Consciousness (NCAAHC), Michigan State University, the University of Michigan-Flint, and the University of Michigan.

Since 2016, the people of Flint and Genesee County have participated in nearly 400 grant-funded programs with a focus on the economic environmental, behavioral, and physical health of Flint residents.

“Community members are often the ‘subjects’ of research, but study findings are rarely shared with them,” says Dr. Susan Woolford, Co-Director of the Healthy Flint Research Coordinating Center and Pediatrician at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. “Research findings should not just be confined to the academic setting but should be accessible to the community at large. Attending Friday’s Research Symposium is one way our community and academic partners can learn about the excellent research being conducted in Flint.”

The Healthy Flint Research Symposium will be held at the Riverfront Banquet Center in downtown Flint. Highlights from the event include two keynote addresses from national public health leaders, presentations on recent Flint-based research, and networking with community organization leaders, community members, faculty experts, and students who are passionate about moving forward the health and well-being of Flint.

The research symposium is the organization’s 2nd annual showcase of collaborative work on injury prevention, nutrition, the built environment, mental health, and other important public health topics.

Daniel E. Dawes, JD, health care attorney and author of "150 Years of Obamacare," gave the opening keynote address, sharing his perspective on the importance of the health equity movement and how healthcare policies and laws are beginning to address public health issues in mental and minority health.

“Building a healthier Flint is a collaborative effort between community and academic partners,” said Dr. Debra Furr-Holden, director of the Division of Public Health in the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. “Identifying the social determinants of health doesn't have to involve complicated research. But, it must always include the voice of the community we serve.”

The purpose of the HFRCC is to establish equitable relationships between community and academia. In service of this work, the HFRCC facilitates a number of community/academic workshops and Community Dialogues, established a Project Index and Open Data Flint, and enhances the work of the Community Ethics Review Board (CERB). Data dissemination, training, and education for academic and community partners are essential core activities.

“Expanding community-academic partnership in research, and identifying innovations that improve health equity at different scales, is a key aim of the HFRCC partnership,” said Ken Sylvester, director of Research and Sponsored Programs at the University of Michigan Flint. “Without coordination and partnership, science and community will remain hidden to one another.”

For a complete list of the day’s agenda, please visit HFRCC.org.