Moving On Forward- Week 2 – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Moving On Forward- Week 2

I’ve gone into a little detail on who I’m working with and what I’m doing with them in last week’s blog, but I’m going to go into a little more detail today.

I am working with Authority Health, a public health organization in Detroit. They have a mission to improve population health and access to care for not only Detroit, but all of Wayne County. Their vision can be explained by two requirements: all people live healthy lives within healthy communities, and all people can secure services provided by the best practitioners, facilities, and innovative approaches to care. This way, Authority Health would be increasing the vitality of Southeast Michigan in order to model exceptional community wellness and influence national health policy.

They also have a pretty catchy slogan to summarize their goal: preserving public health, promoting population health.

Now where do I fit in this? This summer I will be working with Authority Health to get them closer to that goal. There’s two big projects that I will potentially be working on. One of them is the MOTION (Michigan Organizations To Impact Obesity & Nutrition) Coalition Emergency Food Response Analysis. The project is split up in three tasks.

The first one is the one I’m currently doing now. I’m to research food security as a social determinant of health and how communities (particularly local Detroit communities) are being impacted by food insecurity during the COVID 19 pandemic. I’m supposed to create a communication tool representing my research by the end of June.

The second task is to collect data on emergency food efforts occurring in Detroit and the region in response to the Covid 19 pandemic. I’m supposed to be gaining the information via the meetings with the organizations I was assigned, the MOTION quarterly meetings, and the specialized work groups. I will be making a food system grid representing the data by mid July.

The last task under MOTION is performing a SWOT analysis for strategic initiatives that address food insecurity. I’m supposed to be making a summary presentation to present to the MOTION Coalition steering committee by the end of July.

If there’s extra time, there’s a fourth task of identifying candidates for MOTION Movers (people that are making a difference in assuring food security during the COVID crisis). But for right now, the above three tasks are my planned tasks.

The second big project is the Schweitzer Project. In this project I would be researching the sustainability of past Authority Health Schweitzer projects. Then I would be creating a report representing the findings. I haven’t been formally assigned with this project yet, but it’s very likely that I will be.

It’s really exciting to know what my projects and future projects are, and I’m enjoying the work I’ve been doing so far. I had to get the ball rolling, especially after feeling stuck because of current events, but I think I just past that hump now. I’m making great progress with MOTION Task 1: I’m finding multiple articles about food insecurity and public health during COVID 19, and I’m taking ample notes on them as well. I’m hoping to start making the deliverables next week and the week after.

I also enjoy the DCERP program as a whole thus far. The mindfulness activities that we do before each Tu/Th meeting are really helpful to make me relax/reflect on what I have done previously. And I love the interactions I’ve had with the other DCERP fellows. People are really friendly and support of each other within our group chat: giving each other reminders on what’s due, and sharing laughs here and there. I’m hoping we can plan another social event so we can get even closer together.

1 thought on “Moving On Forward- Week 2”

  1. Hey Leslie! Thanks for sharing on your experiences so far and your projects for the future with Authority Health. I’m excited to hear more about what your findings are in the food insecurity and COVID-19 project in our small group meetings, and I’m looking forward to getting to know you and the rest of the cohort better throughout this summer!

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