What good are the latest advances in health and healthcare if they’re not available for all communities?
Our experts are developing and implementing solutions to alleviate disparities in healthcare access, delivery, quality, and outcomes. The goal? To ensure better and more equitable health for individuals and families in communities locally, nationwide, and around the globe.
Community partnerships for improved health in Detroit
Although some 85,000 Detroit residents gained health insurance through Michigan’s Medicaid expansion five years ago, many enrollees still face barriers in accessing care and navigating health and social services, while continuing to live with disproportionately poor health and unmet social and economic needs. To address this, IHPI, community organizations, Medicaid health plans, and the Detroit Health Department came together to develop a program for trained front-line health workers to provide outreach, advocacy, counseling, and health education to members of their community – in this case, Medicaid enrollees in Detroit’s Cody Rouge neighborhood. The partnership is now evaluating the program’s effectiveness in increasing access to preventive care and reducing avoidable use of emergency services, as well as its sustainability and potential for replication in other communities.
Bringing advances in healthcare to rural residents statewide
Those living in rural areas face some unique challenges in accessing quality healthcare, including provider shortages, gaps in behavioral health needs, affordability, and frequently having to travel long distances for services. A new initiative underway with faculty engaged through the Center for Improving Patient and Population Health and IHPI is seeking innovative solutions and sustainable community partnerships to improve the health and well-being of the 1.8 million individuals who make up Michigan’s rural population.
Tobacco policy and community health
What would be the health implications for Michigan communities of raising the legal age for the sale of tobacco products to 21? A team of researchers modeled this scenario through the IHPI Policy Sprint initiative before this new minimum age limit was signed into law nationwide in December 2019. The team determined such a policy change would prevent thousands of premature deaths in the long run in Michigan, so long as potential enforcement challenges were carefully considered in implementation. The research garnered widespread media attention, and health officials in other states requested consultations with the research team around the implementation and evaluation of similar regulations. Learn more through the policy brief.
Striving for more equitable care for persons with disabilities
Bringing together researchers, educators, healthcare providers, and members of the disability community, the U-M Center for Disability Health and Wellness is working to address the inequities in healthcare access, quality, and outcomes that individuals with physical, sensory and developmental disabilities may experience across the lifespan. The center, established in October 2018 through a $4.3 million federal grant made possible in part through support from IHPI’s Data and Methods Hub, will act as a national resource for stakeholders, policymakers and disability organizations. Its mission: to develop and apply innovative research, clinical, and educational strategies to ensure all people have full access to quality healthcare and wellness activities personalized to their background, strengths and needs. “The center is truly leveraging what’s best about U-M: partnering with our colleagues and communities to make a difference,” says Michelle Meade, Ph.D., inaugural center co-director along with Michael McKee, M.D., M.P.H.
Expanding U-M’s health equity focus around the globe
A new center will accelerate global health equity research and initiatives across U-M’s schools, colleges, institutes, and all three campuses by bringing faculty, staff, students, and global partners together to tackle some of the world’s greatest health challenges. Launching through a $10 million gift from Tadataka Yamada, M.D., and Leslie D. Yamada, the center will support new and existing efforts to address health inequity in low-income countries and among disadvantaged populations in middle-income countries. IHPI Director John Ayanian is co-leading efforts to launch the center, which was announced in October 2019.