African American Opioid Deaths

Debra Furr-Holden and colleagues are leading a study that looks at the racial differences in rates of opioid‐involved overdose deaths. Findings from this work call for a need to apply a health equity lens to opioid prevention, interventions, treatment resources, as well as targeted efforts in states with demonstrated and emerging disparities.

Students in class raising hands

In a school neighborhood study, MSU researchers examined academic achievement and attendance for the 21 schools within the boundaries of Flint and found evidence that school neighborhoods may impact academic achievement. These findings were published in the Child and Youth Care Forum.

Illustration of a baby cradled in hands with loss ribbon

Jennifer E. Johnson has been awarded a five-year, $3,358,550 grant to study treatment for major depressive disorder among women who have recently experienced perinatal loss—miscarriage, stillbirth, or early neonatal death. This study is the first fully powered randomized trial of treatment for any psychiatric disorder following perinatal loss.

Dr. Julia Felton

Michigan State University and the University of Maryland College Park are working side-by-side to address health equity in opioid use disorder treatment. Dr. Julia Felton will co-lead a $550,000 grant from the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts.

Dr. Debra Furr-Holden

Debra Furr-Holden, associate dean for public health integration and C.S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health in the College of Human Medicine, answers questions about the different COVID-19 tests. Get some insight into the different testing options and testing eligibility from a public health expert.

Dr. Debra Furr-Holden

To prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, Debra Furr-Holden has been working alongside a global network of public health and medical professionals, civic leaders, and activists. "Our efforts are unending. Yet here we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic which is disproportionately taking the lives of black people. We are forced to confront the most enduring epidemic in America's existence, racism." Watch her personal video message.

Dr. Mieka Smart

Due to COVID-19, “contact tracing” has been added to our vocabulary. Not everyone understands it is essential to stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus. Mieka Smart, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Division of Public Health in the College of Human Medicine, answers questions about contact tracing. 

I.M. Stepping Up

The National Institute of Mental Health awarded Jennifer Johnson and her colleague a $3.2 million, five-year grant to study the national Stepping Up Initiative. The primary aim is of the I.M. Stepping Up study is to improve treatment for individuals with mental illnesses and keep them out of jail. About two-thirds of individuals in jails have mental health problems yet most jails are ill-equipped to deal with complex issues.

Dr. Rodlescia Sneed

Rodlescia Sneed is one of five researchers funded with a $250,000 grant through Policies for Action, a signature research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She will be undertaking a two-year study to evaluate the potential impact of Medicaid work requirements on older recipients.


African Americans are overrepresented among reported coronavirus cases and deaths. A multitude of factors may explain the disparity in COVID-19 outcomes, including higher rates of comorbidities and implicit bias. To address this, we must apply a health equity lens and disaggregate the data.

Bishop Jones with colorectal cancer awareness ribbon

March is Colorectal Cancer Screening Awareness Month. Colorectal Cancer is often preventable and treatable, and screening can save lives. Yet, screening is underutilized, particularly among African Americans, who continue to bear an unjust Colorectal Cancer burden.

State of Flint Kids

To share data around the well being of Flint Kids, the MSU-Hurley Pediatric Public Health Initiative and the Greater Flint Health Coalition will be hosting the first State of Flint Kids event on Friday, February 14, 2020, from 8 am – 10 am.