Past Projects

Multicultrual Health

Patient Navigation Program
The Patient Navigation Program (PNP), a team-based approach, will provide coordinated one-on-one services to obstetrics and gynecology patients whose care is provided by Family Medicine physicians at the UMH Ypsilanti Health Center. The basic goal of the PNP is to provide personalized assistance, in a culturally sensitive manner that will improve the patients’ healthcare experience by addressing and diminishing barriers to care, providing language translation and interpretation as needed, providing culturally tailored health education and social support, increasing health literacy, conducting community outreach, and linking patients to available community and social resources.

Washtenaw County Health Disparities/Health Equity Capacity Building Project
PMCH in collaboration with several partners is implementing activities to address racial and ethnic health disparities, and to improve health equity in Washtenaw County. Phase I of the project included building partnerships to mobilize communities to address social determinants (healthy food access, recreational spaces, safer neighborhoods, literacy/education, skills development, improved housing, improved air quality, etc.) and gathering community assessments from the African American and Latino communities on barriers to achieving optimal health. Current project activities (Phase II) include improving (1) health literacy and access to resources for the African American community, and (2) transportation and social support barriers for the Latino community.

The partnership is led by Washtenaw County Public Health with: Corner Health Center, Packard Health, Washtenaw Community College Harriet Street Center, St. Joseph Mercy Health System - Neighborhood Health Clinic, and the Spanish Health Care Outreach Collaborative.

CBG (Capacity Building Grant) Project
The Capacity Building Grant, from Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), was developed to offer help to Asian American communities in improving health and reducing health disparities, particularly social barriers.

Community-Based Health Education and Outreach for Women
Collaborative project with community partner, Girls’ Group, Inc. and U-M Social Work faculty, Trina Shanks to lead a series of 2-3 group health literacy sessions for mothers and high school daughters that help each increase their individual health literacy on stress and depression, educate them on options and resources available for addressing mental health challenges, and increase the likelihood that mothers and their families will access needed resources in order to address depression.

Community-Based Health Education and Outreach for Senior Citizen Women
A targeted, community-based, culturally competent, small group, interactive session that connects U-M Social Work faculty member, Trina Shanks with Foster Grandparent (FGP) participants. In addition, a certified personal trainer will provide demonstrations of effective physical activity strategies to FGP specifically designed for elderly women.

3X More Likely Campaign Infant Mortality Campaign
Serve as partner with Washtenaw County Coalition for Infant Mortality Reduction with implementation of Community Education Campaign in Washtenaw County to create more awareness and action around disparities in infant mortality. The campaign addresses African American women’s health and infant mortality in Washtenaw County. Black infants are three times more likely to die than white infants before their first birthday in Washtenaw County.

Mother’s Infant Feeding Research Study
Ongoing qualitative research study being conducted by the Program for Multicultural Health (PMCH), Women’s Health Program (WHP) in partnership with Michigan State University, Department of Sociology, to investigate mothers’ experiences related to decisions they make about feeding their babies. Goals of the study are to better understand disparate breast feeding rates among mothers by interviewing African American mothers about the social context of their infant feeding experiences. This research is an expansion on previous research conducted 2009-2010 “Disparate Breast Feeding Outcomes Through Intersectional Paradigms.”

SIDRA Community Partnership
Assist community partner, SIDRA (Sister Initiative for Development Reformation and Awareness) with securing support for addressing domestic violence among Muslim/Arab American women. SIDRA Foundation is a non- profit, educational organization in Michigan with the mission to empower women through targeted education. SIDRA’s mission is to build a bridge of communication between Muslim/ Arab Community and the American Community, to facilitate better understanding between the two cultures.

Health Care Reform Education Workshops
The overall goal of this project is to provide collaborative interactive community forums that educate culturally diverse communities about the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its impact on racial/ethnic populations. Events will be tailored to meet the social and cultural needs of African American and Latino adults (aged 18 and older), and African American and Chinese American seniors (aged 50 and older) in Washtenaw County.

Sponsored by PMCH in partnership with Packard Health, Casa Latina, Washtenaw County ETCS Foster Grandparent Program, Asian Center Southeast Michigan, Washtenaw Community College Harriet Center, and Washtenaw County Public Health, with funds from the Michigan Department of Community Health Division of Health, Wellness and Disease Control Health Disparities Reduction and Minority Health Section.

Minority Health Month 2011
This project is designated to disseminate the 2010 newly approved “Health Reform Law”. The project will conduct trainings for bi-lingual health advocates from five Asian ethnic communities (Asian Indians, Chinese, Korean, Philippines and Vietnamese). Health advocates will offer health reform workshops/seminars in the preferred languages of the Asian ethnic communities. There will be four workshops/seminars offered to the Asian communities in April, the Minority Health Month.

Free Community PAP Screenings
In honor of Women’s History Month, PMCH is partnering with the UMHS University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, and the Women’s Health Program are hosting a free Pap test screening.

A collaborative event between UMHS partners The Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Women’s Health Program, The Program for Multicultural Health, and The Obstetrics and Gynecology Department to provide free PAP screening for un-insured and underinsured women in the community. This community event is part of an ongoing 2011-2012 series of free community-based PAP screenings for underserved women in the community.

MAPI Diabetes Project
Asian Center - Southeast Michigan in collaboration with Michigan Association of Physicians of Indian origin (MAPI), Oakwood Hospital and PMCH is planning to conduct a diabetes research study in the Asian Indian community in metro Detroit. A detail work plan is being developed and will start implementation at the MAPI health fair in April.

E-Health: Seniors Searching for Online Health Information (2009)
PMCH developed a pilot project focused on understanding how Chinese speaking elders (n=60) find and use online health information for: (1) self-empowerment, (2) healthier lifestyles, (3) detecting potential medical problems early, and (4) learning of effective health treatments. Most participants in the pilot phase reported that learning to surf the internet for health information was very helpful and good knowledge to have. Another project focused on elderly and e-health is scheduled for the future.

Body and Soul Enhancement Project (2006-2007)
PMCH in collaboration with the UM Comprehensive Cancer Center developed programs and policies to increase physical activity and healthy eating for five Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti African American churches. The objectives of the project were to (1) provide training to church coordinators and counselors on designing and implementing a basic physical activity program and (2) provide technical assistance to churches to develop policies to support physical activity and healthy eating. Project outcomes consisted of development & implementation physical activity plans, Physical Activity Program Development Guide for Churches, and a completed nutrition series workshops for three churches.

Multicultural Community Insights on Health (2005)
This project was designed to conduct focus groups for four culturally diverse populations (East Indian, Russian-speaking Jews from the Former Soviet Union, Chinese, and the Latino male population) to gain knowledge about culturally specific health behaviors, availability and usage of healthcare providers, and solutions to reduce health disparities. Project outcomes included developing three health resource directories (in Chinese, Russian, and Spanish), and conducting culturally and linguistically appropriate health workshops on oral health, medication safety, memory loss, and other topics.

Innovative Approaches to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Conference (2004)
The conference highlighted innovative approaches to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities. National best practice models and research was shared from various sectors of the community, such as, health care, government, grassroots, business, and religious communities. Conference content was targeted toward health issues for the African American, Arab, Asian, Hispanic, White, Native American populations. The conference provided an opportunity for participants to learn culturally appropriate healthcare delivery strategies and to advocate for health policies to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.

Asthma Screening Project (2005)
PMCH in partnership with the U-M Division of Allergy and Immunology conducted free asthma screening for African-American children ages 8-14 (n=30) living within the empowerment zones of Ypsilanti, Michigan (48197 and 48198 zip codes). Also, parents were invited to be screened. Both parents and children learn to use an inhaler properly. Participants who were at higher risk and screened positive for asthma were referred to UMHS Allergy specialists for follow-up.

Colon Cancer Workshop (2006)
PMCH in collaboration with Pfizer Pharmaceutical Corporation conducted a free educational workshop African Americans residing in Washtenaw County. The purpose of the workshop was to increase colon cancer awareness and encourage early screenings. Two University of Michigan experts in the field of gastroenterology, John Y. Kao, M.D., and Chen Hsing Hsu, M.D., presented information about colon cancer statistics, prevention, screening and detection. More than 80 people attended. Three months later, all participants 50+ years of age who had not been screened for colon cancer were contacted by phone to reinforce health education and remind them to schedule a colon cancer screening.

Medicare Multicultural Workshops (2005)
PMCH in collaboration with Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County conducted a training for five Medicare counselors to help community groups understand the new Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Plan. Community group included senior groups from: African-American churches, Foster Grandparent Program, Russian-speaking Jews from the Former Soviet Union, Chinese, and Arab populations. Approximately 150 individuals attended the two-hour workshops. The Medicare counselors offered free counseling for six months after the workshops ended.

Pharmacy Internship Project (2006)
PMCH in collaboration with U-M College of Pharmacy, provided free medication workshops, twice a week for six months, at a Rite Aid Pharmacy in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Chinese-American and Russian-American bilingual pharmacy students were able to provide a culturally appropriate community pharmacy setting. Also, students designed and developed a medication safety booklet written in three languages: English, Chinese and Russian.

Sisters Striving Towards Balanced Health (SSTBH): A Cultural Approach to Weight Management in African- and Mexican- American Women (2003)
The SSTBH Study was designed to decrease obesity among the African-American and Mexican-American women. African American women (n= 30) residing in Washtenaw County and Mexican American women (n=15) residing in Detroit were provided culturally appropriate education on sustaining healthy lifestyle behaviors including selecting nutritious and culturally preferred food items, engaging in fun and low impact physical activities, managing stress, and understanding medical issues regarding obesity over a six month period. Interactive sessions were provided to increase participants’ use of accessible and affordable community-based health and social services that supported weight loss maintenance. Project results included positive changes in weight, knowledge, and behaviors.

Juventud Por la Salud/Youth for Health (2002)
The purpose of the Juventud Por La Salud/Youth for Health research project was to reduce the occurrence of controllable risk factors for type 2 diabetes among Latino youth in residing in Washtenaw County. The project's culturally appropriate interventions focused upon modifying lifestyle behaviors by promoting health education about diabetes, increased physical activity, decreased consumption of high fat foods, and reduced stress. Interventions and materials were provided in Spanish. Project outcomes included improved good cholesterol levels and normal BMI readings. In addition, parents who took an active role in supporting their children's participation in the activities expressed increased new knowledge about creating healthy lifestyles for their families.

Umoja Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Research Study (1998-2001)
PMCH in partnership with local African American faith-based organizations developed a culturally appropriate intervention to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease among church members. The project consisted of clinical and behavioral interventions that focused on nutrition, physical activity and stress management. Clinical assessments included weight, BMI, cholesterol screenings. Pastors were targeted as community leaders to promote the project among the church community and to encourage project participation. Indigenous health workers were recruited and trained to implement screenings to further empower community members in caring for their own health, and the health and well-being of their communities. Over 400 individuals from 10 Washtenaw County churches participated in the project and forty-three persons were trained as lay health advisors. Assets identified in the project included high levels of life satisfaction and sense of day-to-day control, high levels of perceived personal physical health, very strong social support, and very low levels of alcohol consumption and smoking.