University Of Michigan School Of Public Health

Contact Information
Academic Resources
Community Resources
The Scholar Experience

Contact Information

School of Public Health

Director: Richard Lichtenstein

Director: Richard Lichtenstein, PhD, MPH

Richard Lichtenstein, Ph.D. is director of the University of Michigan Training Site. Dr. Lichtenstein is an associate professor of Health Management and Policy. He received both his M.P.H. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in medical care organization, and a B.S. from Cornell University in industrial and labor relations. Dr. Lichtenstein is currently the co-principal investigator of the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center, which is working with community-based groups in Detroit to conduct community-based participatory research and intervention projects. He led an effort to enroll uninsured children in the Community Health Insurance Program and Medicaid using an innovative learning technology for parents. He is also working on a project related to discrimination in the health care system. Dr. Lichtenstein is also the director of the University of Michigan’s Summer Enrichment Program in Health Management for undergraduate students interested in eliminating health disparities. More information.

Co-Director: Barbara Israel, DrPH, MPH

Barbara Israel, DrPH, MPH, is a Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the School of Public Health, University of Michigan where she joined the faculty in 1982. She received her MPH and DrPH degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author or coauthor of more than eighty journal articles and book chapters in the areas of community-based participatory research (CBPR), social support and stress, social determinants of health, evaluation, and community empowerment and health. Dr. Israel is the Director of the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center (URC), and is involved in several of the CBPR projects affiliated with the URC focusing on :an examination of the social and physical environmental determinants of childhood asthma and intervention strategies aimed at reducing these determinants; diabetes management and prevention; the relationships between psychosocial and physical environmental and biological factors and cardiovascular disease and strategies for addressing these factors; and building capacity for and engaging in policy change aimed at eliminating health disparities.

Academic Resources

Faculty mentors from each of the School of Public Health’s departments: Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Health Behavior and Health Education and Health Management and Policy; faculty mentors from the School of Social Work and Nursing; participation in various seminar series; courses in topics such as community-based participatory research, community organization and needs assessment; opportunities for working with faculty who are actively engaged in research projects with community-based participatory research partnerships, and writing and publishing in peer-reviewed journals. The School of Public Health also maintains a Community-Based Public Health Program based in the Office of Public Health Practice whose role is to facilitate opportunities for students and faculty members to link-up with community partners as part of their class work and to conduct community-based participatory research projects.

Community Resources

The University of Michigan School of Public Health has a long history of collaboration with a number of community-based organizations and several health departments in Michigan, including those in Detroit, Wayne County, Genesee County and other areas of the state. Scholars have identified community mentors who are the leaders of various community-based organizations (CBOs) in Flint and Detroit, Michigan and other community advocates working on health projects in those two cities. The CBOs with which community mentors are affiliated are listed below and under the “Community-Based Partner ” section of this website. All community mentors are engaged in a current CBPR project.

Settings for community-based participatory research include the following:

  1. The Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center (URC) is a community-based participatory collaborative partnership, established in 1995, involving the University of Michigan Schools of Public Health, Nursing, and Social Work, the Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion, eight community-based organizations (Community Health and Social Services Center [CHASS], Communities In Schools, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, Friends of Parkside, Latino Family Services, Neighborhood Service Organization, Warren/Conner Development Coalition), and Henry Ford Health System. The overall goal of the URC is to promote and support interdisciplinary, collaborative, community-based participatory research that both improves the health and quality of life of families and communities on the east, southwest and northwest sides of Detroit, and contributes to the understanding of the relationship between social determinants, protective factors, intermediate outcomes, and long-term health outcomes specific to urban environments. The URC was funded initially through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is presently funded by The Skillman Foundation and the University of Michigan.Current URC projects include:
    • Community Action Against Asthma: (1) Household Air Filter and Air Conditioner Intervention: The aim of this project is to conduct a randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of air filters alone and when combined with air conditioners to reduce indoor particulate matter (PM) and improve health status of children with asthma above and beyond a standard community health worker home visit intervention. (2) Assessment of Vehicular Exhaust Exposure and its Health Effects: This study aims to characterize the relationship between exposures to vehicular exhaust emissions, especially from diesel trucks, in the ambient environment and aggravation of childhood asthma.
    • The Healthy Environments Partnership: (1) Lean and Green in Motown: LGM aims to better understand relationships between the built environment, physical activity and dietary practices, and to assess the impact of multilevel interventions (e.g., individual and environmental change) to promote physical activity and healthy diets. (2) Community Approaches to Cardiovascular Health -Pathways to Heart Health (CATCH-PATH): This project involves implementation and evaluation of a multilevel CBPR intervention to increase physical activity in Detroit. The multilevel intervention includes walking groups to promote active living, and leadership development, community action, and policy level change to enhance neighborhood environments that support and sustain active living.
    • Healthy MOMs [Healthy Mothers on the Move]: This project aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of a social support healthy lifestyle intervention designed to reduce behavioral and clinical risk factors for type 2 diabetes among pregnant and postpartum women.
    • LA VIDA Partnership: LA VIDA aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of a community-based intervention aimed at building community capacity to address the problem of intimate partner violence against Latina women. LA VIDA also provides services to community members in need of legal assistance under the Violence Against Women Act.
    • Neighborhoods Working in Partnership: Building Capacity for Policy Change: The overall goal of this project is to enhance capacity within The Skillman Foundation’s Good Neighborhoods Initiative neighborhoods so they may engage in the policy-making arena and have an impact on local, state, regional and national level policies aimed at creating healthy, safe, and supportive neighborhoods for children and families.
    • REACH Detroit Partnership: (1) Community Health Worker Diabetes Randomized Controlled Trial for Latinos: This project aims to demonstrate how a culturally tailored community health worker intervention can be a cost-effective method for assisting Latinos with diabetes to improve their self-management skills and health status. (2) Peer-Led Self-Management Support in “Real-World” Clinical and Community Settings: In collaboration with the Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center, this project is testing: 1) effective approaches to train peers in state-of-the art behavioral methods that assist patients with type 2 diabetes to initiate and sustain effective self-management behaviors and work constructively with health care providers; and 2) peer support programs that can be embedded within clinical and community settings to provide long-term support for adults with diabetes.
  2. The Prevention Research Center of Michigan (PRC/MI) was established in 1998 and is currently one of 33 Prevention Research Centers nationwide, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a partnership among the University of Michigan School of Public Health, six community-based organizations, the Genesee County Health Department, the Greater Flint Health Coalition, the Michigan Department of Community Health and statewide health services and advocacy organizations. The PRC/MI strives to embody excellence in public health research, practice and policy through long-term partnerships based on trust and equality. The Center conducts community-based, participatory prevention research aimed at improving health status and reducing morbidity and mortality among populations experiencing a disproportionate share of poor health outcomes.Current PRC projects include:
    • Healthy Sexuality: The goals of the program are to: a) promote knowledge, healthy behaviors, attitudes, and perceived norms; b) develop peer networks for healthy sexuality; c) increase STI testing; and d) reduce rates of STIs. The program intervention has two components: Peer Education House Parties and Social Technologies. Participants will learn STI prevention methods, communication skills, and risk assessment. They will develop a risk reduction plan and goals for safer sex behaviors.
    • Developing a Locally-Tailored Prevention Programming for Children of Incarcerated Mothers: The PRC/MI is collaborating with Motherly Intercession on a project to tailor a family intervention for children of incarcerated mothers and their caregivers. The intervention will provide academic and social support for children and offer caregivers and parents parenting education.
    • Variations in Immunization Practices: The goal of Variation in Immunization Practices (VIP) is to conduct rigorous research on key immunization issues of the day. VIP researchers have studied such topics as practice-level costs and reimbursement for childhood immunizations, nurses’ attitudes and behaviors around flu vaccination; physician preferences related to new childhood immunization recommendations, and insurance coverage for adolescent and adult vaccines.
    • Managing Epilepsy Well Network for Epilepsy Self Management: The PRC/MI is participating in the Managing Epilepsy Well Network for Epilepsy Self Management in partnership with the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan and the Center for Managing Chronic Disease. The goal is to study the experiences and effects of self management interventions for epilepsy and other chronic diseases. In addition to conducting a review of existing programs to identify chronic disease and epilepsy self- management models, researchers will interview more than 50 program directors to better understand their design and implementation. The study team will work with an expert panel to make recommendations for the implementation and evaluation of promising interventions.
    • Reducing Childhood Obesity: The Effects of School-Based Interventions: This research project will evaluate the Blue Cross/ Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) Building Healthy Communities grant program, and focuses on the effects of BCBSM investing in a school-based preventive intervention strategy in approximately 30 elementary schools throughout the State of Michigan. This multi-level strategy, Building Healthy Communities: Engaging Elementary Schools and Community Partners, provides grants to support schools in completing school- and community-based assessments, implementing physical activity and nutrition curriculums for students and families. The results of this study will inform the development of successful school-based and community-based interventions to address childhood obesity.
    • Flint Adolescent Study (FAS): FAS is an interview study of 850 ninth graders conducted in collaboration with the Projects for Urban and Regional Affairs and Flint Community Schools. The goal of the study is to explore the protective factors associated with school dropout and alcohol and substance use. Students were sampled from the four main public high schools in Flint, Michigan. The study has followed youth for fifteen years beginning in Fall 1994.


2010-2012 Cohort: Louis F. Graham, PhD and Dawn Richardson, PhD

2009-2011 Cohort: Terri Williams, PhD

2008-2010 Cohort: Betty Izumi, PhD, , and Latrice Pichon, PhD

2006-2008 Cohort: Shawn Kimmel, MA, PhD , and Larkin Strong, MPH, PhD

The Scholar Experience at University of Michigan

As described in the “Community Resources” section of this website, the University of Michigan Training Site is proud to be affiliated with two very successful CBPR partnerships that have each been active for over fifteen years. Between these two partnerships, there are from 8-12 different CBPR projects ongoing at any time. Moreover, there are several academic and community mentors in each of these partnerships who are “seasoned veterans” in the CBPR process. In order to take advantage of the expertise in CBPR that exists in those two partnerships, scholars at the University of Michigan Training Site had the opportunity to select one or more of these existing projects for their work in the KHSP. Scholars also chose academic and community mentors who are affiliated with the selected CBPR projects. Our experience has shown that selecting existing projects facilitates the learning and expedites the progress of our scholars tremendously, enabling them to generate peer reviewed publications before the end of the two-year program. Working with existing partnerships also greatly enhanced the scholar’s ability to work with, and gain the trust of, community partners because the partners have a history of very positive experiences working with the university and previous KHSP scholars.

Along with first authored and co-authored papers based on their CBPR projects, all KHSP scholars were encouraged to publish several papers based on their dissertations while they are in the program. KHSP scholars at Michigan were encouraged to present guest lectures in one or more classes at the University of Michigan School of Public Health or at other schools within and outside of the University.

The University of Michigan is home to a number of other Post-Doctoral Programs that focus on population health, health disparities, and CBPR. Among these are three post-doctoral programs sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. These include the Clinical Scholars Program, the Scholars in Health Policy Research Program, and the Health and Society Scholars Program. Scholars in the Kellogg Health Scholars Program had frequent opportunities to interact with the scholars in these programs and others, throughout their time at Michigan.