February 10, 2022

WSU’s new CHECK-UP Program awarded Total Health Care Foundation grant

Wayne State University’s prospective Center for Health Equity and Community Knowledge in Urban Populations, or CHECK-UP, has been awarded a one-year, $163,592 grant from the Total Health Care Foundation, in partnership with Priority Health.

CHECK-UP is a new, transdisciplinary effort led by Hayley Thompson, Ph.D., WSU professor of Oncology, Office of Cancer Health Equity and Community Engagement, Karmanos Cancer Institute, that works across Detroit communities and WSU’s schools, colleges and departments to identify both barriers and bridges to health equity in the region. The grant will launch CHECK-UP’s Community Health Scholars Program, intended to build research capacity in diverse communities by preparing metropolitan Detroit residents to serve as partners and leaders in research through a range of roles.

“Investment by the Total Health Care Foundation provides crucial resources to launch our center’s innovative, community-driven research efforts. CHECK-UP is committed to inclusive approaches that ensure the voices of metro Detroit residents are amplified. We are grateful to the foundation for recognizing that this framework – still in its earliest stages of development – has the potential to generate real change in health outcomes,” Dr. Thompson said.

With the broad goal of providing community members with the skills necessary to advance research priorities and implement health promotion programs, the grant will support the adaptation of curriculum focused on research design and ethics.

“Each of the organizations Priority Health and the Total Health Care Foundation support is committed to serving their communities and fighting the health disparities that face them,” said Shannon Wilson, vice president of State Markets, East for Priority Health and executive director of the Total Health Care Foundation. “Wayne State University’s new CHECK-UP Program will make a significant impact to the residents of Detroit, and we are happy to support it. We look forward to seeing what is achieved in the near future.”

The proposed work has three phases: first, to establish an academic-community steering committee that will expand the current curriculum to include modules that increase skills in community health promotion; next, to deliver the expanded curriculum to metropolitan Detroit residents as Community Scholars; and finally, to provide the Community Scholars with opportunities to apply their newly-acquired health promotion skills as community health advisors.

As a selected initiative of Bold Moves, an opportunity designed to stimulate large, transformational ideas among faculty, staff and students at Wayne State University, CHECK-UP has the potential to bring long-lasting impact to the health and well-being of thousands of people in the Detroit region.

For more information on the Total Health Care Foundation, please visit priorityhealth.com/thcfoundation.

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