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The Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions (FCHES) is a transdisciplinary collaborative center for Health Disparities Research on Chronic Disease Prevention within the DHHS-defined Region 5. The FCHES arose from active collaborations among Core Academic Faculty from the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Public Health Division and The University of Michigan. Our partnership also includes the University of Michigan main campus in Ann Arbor, MI. Lead Consortium Partner for the Center is the Flint-based Community Based Organization Partners (CBOP). National Consortium Partners include The National Collaborative for Health Equity (NCHE), The National Office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee (5th Congressional District). State partners include State Representative Sheldon Neeley (34th District, which includes the larger Genesee County and Flint); and local partners including the Genesee County Health Department (GCHD), The Genesee County Land Bank, Flint Odyssey House, Inc., Bridges into the Future, Community Outreach for Families and Youth (COFY) Center, The Greater Flint Health Coalition, and Wellness Services.
Core Academic Faculty and their community partners bring significant research and practical expertise in health equity efforts, behavioral health interventions and epidemiology, geography and the effects of built environment on health, and physical fitness and healthy eating in economically distressed, minority-majority communities. The FCHES targets its initial activities within Flint, Michigan, with formative plans to extend the scope and reach of the FCHES activities more generally across the state through the Michigan State University Extension Program and nationally over the course of our work.
The translational work of the FCHES aims to have national impact. Our dissemination, advocacy and policy initiatives include local, regional, and national activities. Currently in Year 4 of our activity, the FCHES is devoted to the performance of two community-based multilevel collaborative intervention research projects, one focused on prevention of chronic physical health disease/condition (specifically obesity and cardiovascular disease) and the other focused on prevention of chronic behavioral health disease/condition (specifically substance abuse and mental illness). Our behavioral health intervention programs have the potential to improve overall physical well-being for families. 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.