LANSING — The Michigan Department of Community Health has received a three-year $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to improve health outcomes for overweight and obese patients in two medically underserved areas in Michigan: Detroit and Grand Rapids.

This grant will allow MDCH and partners to develop a team-based approach to care for obese children, students and adults at two university-affiliated nurse-managed primary care clinics: the Wayne State University Campus Health Center and the Grand Valley State University Family Health Center.

MDCH’s partners on this initiative include WSU College of Nursing, GVSU’s Office of the Vice Provost for Health and Kirkhof College of Nursing, Michigan Area Health Education Center, and Michigan Health Council.

Jean Nagelkerk, vice provost for Health at GVSU, said, “Through a collaborative health care approach, we’ll initiate programs and services for people from underserved areas in Grand Rapids who are overweight and obese, keeping in line with the state’s plan to reduce obesity.” The GVSU Family Health Center is at 72 Sheldon Blvd. SE.

Nursing, social work and dietetics students and staff members will collaborate around health promotion, care delivery and wellness measures for patients with obesity-related health conditions. The project will expand primary care services for overweight and obese patients by increasing clinical training opportunities for health professional students.

Michigan ranks fifth in the nation with an adult obesity rate of 31.7 percent and a combined rate of obese and overweight adult residents of 67 percent. Gov. Rick Snyder has recognized that obesity is a major public health problem facing Michigan. The three-year program will be evaluated and the outcomes of patients will be tracked in order to improve primary care and clinical training for health professionals statewide.

HRSA is the primary federal agency for enhancing access to health care for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable.


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