Community-Academic Research News
July 2018
Detroit URC Board Partner Spotlight: An Intervie w with Lidia Reyes-Flores, Executive Director of Latino Family Services
Latino Family Services provides a service system in Detroit that assists and supports families in their efforts to improve their social, health, and educational functioning; enhance their community environment; and increase economic self-sufficiency.

Executive Director Lidia Reyes-Flores recently spoke with us about her work and involvement in Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR).

H ow did Latino Family Services first get involved with the Detroit URC?

Latino Family Services has been a part of the Detroit URC since it was established in 1995, and I got involved when I became the interim CEO in 2010. My background was in business, not the nonprofit world, so I had to learn all the rop es. Getting oriented to the Detroit URC was very refreshing because everyone is so supportive of each other. Everyone is so open with each other – it’s one place where I don’t feel stressed.

The first year I was on the Detroit URC Board, I was just trying to absorb as much as possible, learning about what everyone does and how they do it. As I got to know everyone, I learned what CBPR is all about. I come from a community-based family, so I’ve done wrap-around and distributive justice, which is part of what CBPR is – finding out what everybody does and how to integrate it into everybody’s life.

The Detroit URC is a great support system for everybody because you get so much from all the partners. You get involved and it becomes like a family. I could go to any one of the partners and ask for help with whatever I need. You feel comfortable enough to do that. I think it’s very rare in any kind of setting. 

New Funding Enhances Capacity for Community-Academic Partnerships to Examine and Address Health Inequities
The Detroit URC has been awarded an Administrative Supplement from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to enhance knowledge and skills in the use of innovative methodologies in the behavioral and social sciences, in partnership with the communities involved, to examine and address health inequities. This funding builds on the existing CBPR Partnership Academy, which has been conducted successfully since 2014. Participants from all cohorts of the CBPR Partnership Academy will be eligible to extend and augment their accomplishments, ensure career development, and foster sustainability.

Insuring Good Health
Insure Detroit, an affiliated partnership of the Detroit URC, has just launched a new interactive website designed to increase capacity for health insurance navigation.

In order to boost understanding about the advantages of health coverage and how to obtain it and use it, a team from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and eight Detroit community organizations and health agencies formed a partnership that followed a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach. The partnership developed and evaluated a behavioral intervention- Insuring Good Health, which was tested at four federally qualified health centers and social service agencies: the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), Community Health and Social Services (CHASS), Mercy Primary Care Center, and Covenant Community Care.

“Insuring Good Health is a culmination of a rewarding community-academic partnership,” said Dr. Minal Patel, John G. Searle Assistant Professor of Health Behavior & Health Education at Michigan Public Health. “We hope that many organizations will use the products produced from our work together in partnership with their local communities.”

Insure Detroit has developed an Insuring Good Health outreach toolkit for health centers and community organizations to use. The toolkit is a free collection of outreach materials that help organizations promote Insuring Good Health in different ways such as: playing videos in clinic waiting rooms, sharing handouts and stickers w ith the website URL, or through social media posts. The toolkit also includes a report of the evaluation. Click here to access the Insuring Good Health Outreach To olkit . If you have any issues accessing the toolkit, please contact the Project Manager, Lindsay TerHaar at

Networking Social Creates Opportunities for New Connections
Our 6th annual Networking Social brought together academic researchers and members of community organizations on May 31, 2018. Members of the Community-Academic Research Network (CAR-Net) gathered in Detroit to meet others with similar interests in addressing issues facing the city, with the goal of forming new collaborative research partnerships. The Edward Ginsberg Center, Poverty Solutions, and Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) co-sponsored this year’s event.

Angie Reyes, Executive Director of the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation and Detroit URC Board member, was one of the facilitators. “This social networking event is one of the highlights of the year,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun, even though we’re talking about serious subjects. For me, it’s resulted in some short-term partnerships, and some long-term partnerships that have really helped our organization with the work that we do in the city of Detroit.”

For more information about the CAR-Net, and the benefits of joining, please click here .
Online Course on CBPR: A Partnership Approach for Public Health
A newly-updated online course, created by the Detroit URC, gives researchers, health and human service practitioners, and members of community-based organizations on opportunity to learn about Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR). This approach to research equitably involves community members, organization representatives, and academic researchers in all aspects of the research process.

This course was originally released in 2009. Given its success as a foundational course, updates were made in 2017 for this improved, web-based version.

Brianna Jacobs Shares Her Experience Working With the MAPS Project
Brianna Jacobs, a student working on the Detroit URC's Measurement Approaches to Partnership Success project, recently reflected on her experiences with community-based participatory research. While presenting research at the New England Science Symposium (NESS) in April, Brianna had the opportunity to network with other researchers, and share her appreciation for community-based research. 

As the Detroit URC embarks on its third decade of fostering health equity through community-based participatory research (CBPR), we recognize that this important, collective work is only made possible through the ongoing collaboration among these exceptional partner organizations:  Communities In Schools 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 The University of Michigan Schools of  Public Health Nursing and  Social Work . We have quite a team, and we are grateful.