Spring 2020
Community-Academic Research News
In this challenging and unprecedented time, Detroit URC partners continue to do vital work in Detroit and beyond to promote health equity, support collaborative research, and advocate for the most vulnerable. We send our gratitude to them, and to all of you who are working in collaboration to respond effectively to this pandemic.

Read on for several articles directly confronting the impact of COVID-19 in Southeast Michigan, and read further for updates on Detroit URC programs and activities.
Please note: The articles below were written prior to the pandemic. We encourage everyone to spend some time learning about, engaging with, or contributing to the good work of partners and friends--perhaps now more than ever, we must invest in collaborative and equitable partnerships to ensure this work continues.
Detroit URC Board Partner Spotlight
An Interview with Richard Bryce, DO, Chief Medical Officer at Community Health and Social Services Center, Inc.*
*Interview conducted in October 2019

In this issue we feature the dynamic and engaging Dr. Richard Bryce D.O., a family physician and chief medical officer at the Community Health and Social Services Center, Inc. (CHASS), a federally qualified health center, in Southwest Detroit, Michigan. Richard is also clinical faculty at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Henry Ford Health System.

His passion is to promote and motivate his patients to pursue a healthy lifestyle.To that end, he has started a number of initiatives through CHASS, including the CHASS Mexicantown 5K Run/Walk and Children's Race, both of which improve exposure to exercise within the Detroit community. He has also been instrumental in facilitating the Fresh Prescription program at the CHASS Center, where he and other providers prescribe fresh fruits and vegetables to their patients from the clinic based Farmer’s Market with the goal of increasing consumption of these foods. Richard also initiated CHASS's Reach Out and Read partnership, which provides pediatric patients with a free book at each well child visit.  

Additionally, he is the Faculty Advisor for Street Medicine Detroit and Detroit Street Care, student organizations affiliated with Wayne State University School of Medicine and Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. These programs provide medical care to Detroit’s homeless population. 

Richard took some time away from his many duties to talk about his involvement with the Detroit URC.

How did you first get involved with the Detroit URC?
I’ve been working at CHASS for 7 years. CHASS has always had a strong relationship with the Detroit URC. About 2 ½ years ago, when Ricardo Guzman retired and I became the chief medical officer, I was fortunate enough to be asked to participate with the Detroit URC.

How has the Detroit URC helped you advance the CHASS mission?
The mission of CHASS is finding any way that we can support and improve the health of the patient population in our community. Fortunately, that matches very closely to the mission of the Detroit URC, with its emphasis on community-based participatory research. If CHASS can use something like CBPR to make an impact on our community, then we are just going to go forward with that. And that’s why we have had such a long and pretty awesome relationship.
Are there other ways in which your partnership with the Detroit URC is helpful for you and/or CHASS?

Through the Detroit URC or the connections that the Detroit URC has been able to bring to us, we have created some amazing relationships in different areas of CBPR. These relationships have been beneficial to CHASS and to the community. There have been so many incredible opportunities!
What do you gain from serving on the Board?
It is great that there are a lot of diverse people on the board, both from the academic side and from the community side, and they all seem to have one common goal. I think learning from how others have tried to do things in the past to try to improve what we’re doing at CHASS has been pretty remarkable.

Three collaborative teams of University of Michigan researchers and community partner organizations have been awarded $26,500 grants each for research projects focused on evaluating and strengthening interventions, programs, and policies that seek to prevent and alleviate poverty in Michigan.

These research projects will take place in 2020-2021, and mark the fourth round of community-academic grants awarded through a joint initiative between the Detroit URC and Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan. For more information about the program, including previous grantee teams, please visit this link.

The grant proposals funded were selected based on multiple factors. These included: the quality of the research design (including the appropriate research methodology); feasibility of completion of the proposed study during the funding period; relevance of proposed research effort to communities involved; extent and feasibility of community and academic partner involvement; and degree to which the study builds knowledge about the effectiveness of interventions, programs and policies seeking to reduce or alleviate poverty.

The award-winning projects and team members are listed below; you can read more on our website.
Special Delivery:
A Community Academic Partnership to Improve the Health of Low-Income Young Mothers and their Children
This project will evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of ordering WIC-covered foods online for home delivery among pregnant young women in Washtenaw, Genesee, and Wayne counties, and whether doing so impacts their diet and weight gain during pregnancy.
Gayathri Akella, Washtenaw County Health Department WIC
Tammy Chang, University of Michigan Department of Family Medicine
Marika Waselewski, University of Michigan Department of Family Medicine
The AfricanFuturist Greenhouse
This proposal will combine the African traditions of generative economy with contemporary technology design to create an AfricanFuturist greenhouse in the heart of Detroit.
Ron Eglash, University of Michigan School of Information
Audrey Bennett, University of Michigan Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design
Olayami Dabls, MBAD/ABA African Bead Museum

Poverty Alleviation through Entrepreneurship and Urban Microenterprise Development
This project will evaluate the impact of microenterprise development and neighborhood entrepreneurship training programs in Detroit with respect to outcomes of new venture growth, wealth creation, and upward economic mobility.
Marcus D. Harris, University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business
Michael Gordon, Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan
Nicole Farmer, Grand Innovation
April Boyle, Build Institute
Jacquise Purifoy, Build Institute
Crystal J. Scott, University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business
Jeffrey Robinson, Rutgers Business School The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development
Eleventh Round of Small Planning Grants Awarded
Five community-academic partnerships have been selected to receive grants of $5,000 each from the Detroit URC Small Planning Grants Program. These grants will support research that improves the health and quality of life of Detroit residents. 

This marks the eleventh round of the Small Planning Grant program, which has funded 29 projects or partnerships since 2010 averaging $4,500 per award; a total of $122,000 has been allocated overall. We are pleased to acknowledge the support provided this year by the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) Communities Engagement Program. The partnerships involving the University of Michigan School of Social Work (U-M SSW) are supported through our partnership with the U-M SSW Detroit Engagement Initiative.

The projects and partnerships funded are the following:

Expanding a Collaborative Partnership to Support Trans-Masculine People of Color in Detroit
  • Gary Harper, U-M School of Public Health; Rimonte Parker, Nuii Waav Brotherhood

Alley Activation as a Green Health Intervention
  • Paul Draus, U-M Dearborn; Korey Batey, Detroit Ain’t Violent It’s Safe (DAVIS)

Expanding Youth Voice in Quality Assessment in Detroit: A Collaborative Project to Pilot and Disseminate a Youth-Led Evaluation Tool
  • Katie Richards-Schuster, U-M School of Social Work; Alicia McCormick, Urban Neighborhood Initiatives; Sara Plachta Elliott, Youth Development Resource Coalition

The LGBTQ Senior Housing Project
  • Beth Glover Reed, U-M School of Social Work; Angie Perone, SAGE Metro Detroit

Building a Diverse Aging Network for Research, Service, and Knowledge Development in Detroit
  • James Blackburn, U-M School of Social Work; Vincent Tilford, Hannan Center
New Detroit URC CBPR Publications Available
The Measurement Approaches to Partnership Success (MAPS) team had two manuscripts published in the last year which are both now available online. Detroit URC Board member Barbara Brush, multiple Principal Investigator on MAPS and faculty at the U-M School of Nursing, is first author on an article in Health Education & Behavior examining success in long-standing CBPR partnerships through a scoping literature review. This review informed the development of the MAPS survey questionnaire currently in the field. Barbara Israel, multiple Principal Investigator, recently had a manuscript published in Progress in Community Health Partnerships describing the theoretical underpinnings and methodological approaches being used by the MAPS team to better understand success in long-standing CBPR partnerships.

The MAPS project is a 5-year National Institute of Nursing Research funded study that aims to develop a clear definition of success in long-standing CBPR partnerships, a specific set of factors that contribute to it, and a practical tool for measuring these factors. To read more about the MAPS project, please visit our website.
News and Announcements
Event Postponed: 25th Anniversary Celebration of Partnerships: Detroit URC Networking Event
The Detroit URC Networking Event and 25th Anniversary Celebration, previously scheduled for April 29, has been postponed in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations related to COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided for the health of our guests and the broader community that we will celebrate our partnership and this incredible network at a later date in the fall. The new date has not been selected, but as soon as we reschedule, we will notify you.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of uncertainty.

We look forward to being together soon! Stay well!

For the latest updates visit detroiturc25.eventbrite.com.
Michele Heisler, a UMMS faculty member has been selected as the next Medical Director of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), the prominent, nonprofit organization that uses medical science to document, investigate, and advocate against human rights abuses around the world. Congratulations Michele!

The Detroit URC and affiliated partnerships had an active presence at American Public Health Association in November 2019, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

To see a complete list of our presentations click the link here.
How can the Detroit URC help you?
Grant Opportunities

The Detroit URC facilitates collaborative research through two grant funding programs: a small planning grant program and pilot grants to explore strategies to prevent and alleviate poverty in Michigan. In both cases, the Detroit URC provides grant recipients with valuable capacity building support and mentoring, through technical assistance and grantee workshops.
Research Network: CAR-Net

The Community-Academic Research Network (CAR-Net) is a virtual entity that involves a broad array of community organizations and academic researchers interested in conducting and disseminating collaborative research in the city of Detroit. The goals are to facilitate information sharing, develop linkages, and provide ongoing support for developing equitable research partnerships.
Policy Advocacy Training

We provide training workshops, technical assistance, and ongoing support to community groups to enhance the capacity of Detroit residents to conduct effective policy advocacy efforts. Our trainings build upon the Neighborhoods Working in Partnership (NWP) program and draws upon the Detroit URC's capacity building, intervention, research and policy experience.
CBPR Capacity Building

We develop and conduct interactive, on- and off-site workshops focusing on a variety of topics related to CBPR aimed at building capacity within communities and institutions (e.g., academic, health departments, health systems, community-based organizations). We also provide technical assistance to new and emerging CBPR partnerships related to developing, maintaining, and sustaining partnerships.
We want to hear from you!
Do you have an upcoming event that you would like to publicize? Did you just receive a grant or win an award? Do you have a position that you are looking to fill? 

The Detroit URC is in its 25th year of fostering health equity through community-based participatory research (CBPR), and we recognize that this important, collective work is only made possible through the ongoing collaboration among these exceptional partner organizations:  Community Health and Social Services Center Detroit Health Department ; Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation Eastside Community Network Friends of Parkside Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice Latino Family Services ; Neighborhood Service Organization Institute for Population Health Henry Ford Health System ; and The University of Michigan Schools of  Public Health Nursing , and  Social Work .