The proposed Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions will establish an NIMHD Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center (TCC) for health disparities research on chronic disease prevention to be based in Flint, Michigan. This proposal was developed in collaboration with community members from its inception, and evolved from a conversation between Flint community members and the Flint-based Michigan State University researchers that they helped to hire. The TCC will strengthen community-engaged health disparities research in the Flint area, serving as regional focal point for organizing and nurturing productive working relationships with across a broad cross-section of stakeholders with an interest in eliminating health disparities. The TCC has 4 cores and 2 intervention research projects. Research Project 1 will examine the effectiveness of a community-designed, community-based, multilevel physical activity and healthy food intervention (the Church Challenge) relative to enhanced treatment as usual in primarily African-American Flint-area churches. The intervention targets individual, church, and church as driver of community policy-level changes (e.g., improving healthy food and physical activity opportunities in Flint). Research Project 2 will evaluate a multi-tiered intervention program for men and women in recovery from substance abuse. Tier 1 consists of a peer coaching and advocacy recovery support service. Tier 2 is an evidence-based Strengthening Families Program to support family reunification and support. Each of the proposed projects represent an area of unmet need to address health inequities, including access via affordable health care; structural inequality and social isolation and stratification. Each project has high potential for translation. The TCC's Administrative Core will provide leadership for the Center's overall strategic planning, including scientific leadership and oversight. This Core will manage, coordinate and supervise the entire range of proposed TCC activities, monitor progress and ensure that component plans are carried out. The Consortium Core will organize and nurture productive working relationships with a broad cross-section of academic partners, community organizations, minority and health disparity populations, health care provider organizations, for-profit or non-profit organizations and foundations, governmental agencies, and other stakeholders to advance TCC-related health equity efforts. The Methodology Core will conduct a community needs assessment and provide the TCC with statistical, mapping, and cost-effectiveness analysis services. The Dissemination and Implementation Science Core will develop and manage a highly effective translation program (i.e., conduct research dissemination) and also produce generalizable knowledge about how best to do so (i.e., conduct dissemination and implementation research that is synergistic with other Center efforts). Our initiatives will reduce health inequities in Flint, Michigan and provide promising insights to promote translational approaches in Region 5 and more broadly across the nation.
The proposed Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions will establish an NIMHD Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center (TCC) for health disparities research on chronic disease prevention to be based in Flint, Michigan. The TCC will strengthen community-engaged research on multilevel interventions to target lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, and harmful use of alcohol. Our initiatives will reduce health inequities in Flint, Michigan and provide promising insights to promote translational approaches in Region 5 and more broadly across the nation.