Wayne State University

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FY 2018 Community Conversations Research

Executive Summary

Maximizing Community Engagement for a Healthy Dearborn (MCEHD) is a multilevel, community-based participatory research (CBPR) project that aims to reduce obesity and other chronic disease among Dearborn residents. Through increased engagement of hard-to-reach populations of the Dearborn community, MCEHD will assist the Healthy Dearborn coalition (HD) in identifying the most pressing health concerns among its members to encourage increased involvement in coalition activities that result in social action. The proposed project will be led by the Wayne State University Center for Health and Community Impact (WSU CHCI) in close collaboration with the leadership of the Healthy Dearborn coalition and other community-based partners within the city of Dearborn.

The project will focus on engagement of organizations and community members from the northeast corner of the city (Census Tract: 573600), where residents are burdened by significant health disparities, such as the highest rates of obesity, asthma, COPD, cardiovascular disease and stroke when compared to other Dearborn neighborhoods (Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System [MIBRFSS], 2015; Healthy Dearborn, 2014). In addition, 60% of northeast Dearborn families live in poverty, as compared to 29% of Dearborn families, and comprise some of the most impoverished residents within the State of Michigan (US Census, 2015). HD leadership has identified the northeast community as the population in greatest need for health programs and services, yet engagement among residents and organizations is limited.

To address the myriad of health and social burdens discussed above, MCEHD will use a CBPR approach to: 1) Complete a needs and assets assessment of the northeast Dearborn community; 2) Assess the greatest health priorities of the HD membership; 3) Determine the health priorities of the northeast Dearborn community; and 4) Finalize an action plan that engages all members of the Dearborn community, including northeast Dearborn, and results in social change. Through strategic partnerships and engagement activities, outcomes and lessons learned from MCEHD will be shared with local and national audiences. We expect that program outcomes will assist other community coalitions in improving neighborhood design, stakeholder engagement and health outcomes for similar health disparate populations.

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