Our Work

Here in Center for Health Disparities Innovation and Studies (CHDIS), we are dedicated in producing sustainable solutions to improve health and reduce health disparities we’ve seen in the community. It is not an easy task; therefore, it is important to move beyond boundaries and use a more integrated and comprehensive approach.

The team has track record working collaboratively with community advocates, public health authorities, health system partners, and governmental offices. In the process, we listen to the voices from individuals and families regarding the challenges and barriers that they encounter. Working with our state-wide Asian Communities toward Innovative Visionary Environment (ACTIVE) Coalition, our team continues to increase the breadth and depth of health initiatives
that covers wide range of health issues pertinent to Asian communities. Together we develop and implement innovative programs in responding to urgent health issues encountered in the underserved communities.

Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH)

The CHDIS currently houses a REACH project funded by the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). In 2018, Eastern Michigan University is one of 31 recipients in the nation, and the only one solely focused on the priority population of Asian Americans in Michigan. In this five-year initiative, our team in CHDIS aims to reduce chronic disease burdens experienced by Asian Americans by working with our state-wide coalition to identify contributors of health disparities among Asian Americans and implement policy, system, and environment change strategies to improve nutrition, physical activity, and community-clinical linkages. In nutrition domain, we’re working with food systems (for example, grocery stores, local food pantry) to increase healthy food offering. In Physical activity domain, we’re using geography information system (known as GIS) to map factors influencing individual’s’ physical activity pattern and build Activity-Friendly Communities. In community clinical linkages we are connecting Asian Americans to appropriate and locally available health programs which they have not utilized before.

Healthy Asian Americans Project (HAAP)

Established in 1996, the mission of HAAP is to improve overall health of Asian Americans and reduce health disparities with research, education, and promotion. Throughout the years, HAAP received federal- and state grants as well as support from foundations eliminate health disparities among Asian Americans and Asians. HAAP made a great impact to increase breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening among Asian Americans. HAAP’s bilingual navigators educate individuals and families in their communities and also provide assistance to access to much needed screening and preventive services. HAAP’s coordinators serve seven Asian communities: Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese. With the CMS funding, HAAP’s bilingual navigators has provided the assistance and enrolled more than 8,000 individuals and families with quality healthcare plans during the Affordable Care Act open enrollment periods. Internationally, HAAP’s Lay Health Advisor programs in Taiwan and China increase breast health awareness and early detection of breast cancer; more than 120,000 women received breast cancer screening. More recently, HAAP’s breast ambassadors educated Filipino women about the importance of prevention and early detection of breast cancer and ultimately empower women to take actions on their breast health. The health disparities research that HAAP conducted has served as the evidence base for developing and implementing effective interventions for Asian Americans.

Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission Grant

Michigan Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program for Underserved Asian Americans is funded by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission (CLEEC). The purpose of the project is to connect high-risk

Asian-Americans in Hamtramck and the Detroit area, specifically the Bangladeshi population, with local organizations and agencies to design, plan, and implement a culturally appropriate lead poisoning prevention program.

Program Goals:

  1. Increase lead-testing and enhance the linkage to services for high-risk children and pregnant women.
  2. Provide healthcare professionals and providers with education related to lead testing and elevated blood lead level treatment.
  3. Implement a primary prevention program to increase lead awareness and provide resources.

We are rooted and invested in the community, working side by side with community leaders to create culturally appropriate interventions. We have established relationships with multi-sector partners to enhance linkage to medical, financial, and educational services. The Lead Team is dedicated to increasing lead poisoning awareness and prevention in the Bangladeshe population in Hamtramck and the Detroit area.

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