Each year, the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) recognizes individuals or groups who have contributed significantly to creating and/or implementing policies or policy-based changes that support and positively impact the food and physical activity environment. The 2022 recipient of the Advisory Committee on Public Policy Health Promotion Policy Award is the Flint Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is enlisting experts and resources at Michigan State University to bolster the state’s fight against COVID, foodborne illnesses and more.

With three grants totaling more than $5 million, MSU and health care partners will help build up Michigan’s capacity to respond to the current pandemic and future pathogens. MDHHS created what it calls the Michigan Sequencing Academic Partnership for Public Health Innovation and Response, or MI-SAPPHIRE, with federal funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal of the program is to “address emerging disease threats and enhance the state’s ability to respond to those threats,” MDHHS announced.

Dr. Rodlescia Sneed

The number of individuals released from state and federal prison has increased substantially in recent years. According to The Bureau of Justice Statistics, in the United States, about 5 million formerly incarcerated adults (returning citizens) are under community supervision (e.g. probation or parole) at any given time. And these returning citizens face numerous barriers—inadequate housing, poverty, unemployment, and lack of access to nutritious food and physical activity.

Michigan State Public Health COVID-19  SeroNet Team in Action

A team of MSU researchers seeks answers to understand the barriers to COVID-19 antibody testing and vaccinations in Flint. A research team collects data to understand which public health communication strategies are most effective. Volunteers from the Flint Registry drive up to a “Root beer stand-style” testing station; MSU will compare antibody status to COVID-19 exposure and vaccination rates among Flint residents using a salivary testing tool.

Lead exposure from contaminated water has gotten much justifiable attention lately, but another major source lurks in the dust of countless older homes.

That is why Masako Morishita, PhD, an associate professor of family medicine in the MSU College of Human Medicine, is heading a study of whether portable air filters can mitigate lead exposure and reduce lead levels in the blood of children who live in older houses. Robert Wahl, DVM, MS, an assistant professor in the MSU Division of Public Health, Master of Public Health Program, is co-leading the study.

Dr. Debra Furr-Holden

Closing the racial gap in health outcomes and COVID-19 vaccination rates in Michigan as well as other states is the aim of Michigan State University researchers funded through a $6 million, one-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC grant is for the National Network to Innovate for COVID-19 and Adult Vaccine Equity, or NNICE project.

Dr. Todd Lucas

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer type diagnosed in the United States in both men and women. The American Cancer Society estimates there will be nearly 150,000 new cases in 2021 and over 50,000 deaths. But CRC is preventable and very treatable if caught early. “Disparities in CRC screening have persisted in the African American community, but we have the tools to do something about it. If Black Lives Matter, then Black health should matter too,” Todd Lucas.

Dr. Kent Key

Flint native, community advocate, and Michigan State University researcher, Kent Key, PhD, MPH, has been awarded a five-year, $622,835 grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to co-develop culturally appropriate family health history tools with African American community members.

State of Flint Kids 2021 Report

The second annual State of Flint Kids report, along with a special video and updated website, was released this week by the MSU-Hurley Pediatric Public Health Initiative and the Greater Flint Health Coalition. The report highlights data trends over time and opportunities for improvement. The State of Flint Kids website at stateofflintkids.com has been updated to include in-depth dashboards and new assessment measures.

Flint Kids Cook in class with chef

After Flint residents were exposed to lead in their drinking water, a Michigan State University College of Human Medicine professor helped launch a series of cooking classes for kids, hoping it would teach them the importance of proper nutrition.

It did that and more.

As the kids gained confidence in the kitchen, they began trying foods they previously would have shunned, a recent study found.

Dr. Johnson and Dr. Maghea

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 700 women die each year in the United States from pregnancy-related complications, and more than 25,000 women experience severe maternal morbidity. And severe maternal morbidity and mortality disproportionately affect African American (AA) women.

Dr. Amy Saxe-Custack

A team of Michigan State University researchers has been awarded a three-year, $1,635,815 grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to study the effectiveness of pediatric fruit and vegetable prescription programs (FVPPs) through the MSU–Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative (PPHI), based in Flint, Mich.