The Detroit URC: fostering health equity through 
community-based participatory research (CBPR)
for more than 20 years

Insure Detroit Project Overview

What is Insure Detroit?

Insuring Good Health is a website with a series of short videos that provide information on navigating health insurance and care. The primary goal of Insuring Good Health is to increase understanding of healthcare coverage and the Affordable Care Act. The videos use storytelling techniques to convey information through six, superhero characters. Insuring Good Health is available in Arabic, English, and Spanish, and in a format suitable for all literacy levels. The website and videos are available to the public at

The creation of Insuring Good Health was informed by focus groups with key populations (Latino, African American, and Arab American) in Detroit. Focus group participants identified what they considered to be the greatest barriers to finding, understanding, and securing affordable healthcare coverage. The Insure Detroit Partnership developed learning points based on the focus group data that were incorporated into Insuring Good Health.

“Health Insurance is very complicated and the Affordable Care Act is very complicated, but we worked as a team to decide on a simple message,” said Minal Patel, John G. Searle Assistant Professor of Health Behavior & Health Education at Michigan Public Health and co-Principal investigator of the project. “Using storytelling, which is an effective way to raise awareness, we created characters that resonated with different sorts of situations most people would experience, such as transitioning off of one plan to another, managing chronic disease, and changing your doctor. We embedded particular learning points into all of these stories.”
Insuring Good Health was evaluated using a lagged-randomized control trial design with 6 and 9-month follow-up. Surveys were used to assess participants’ healthcare knowledge, confidence, beliefs about healthcare, and behavioral intention related to healthcare navigation.

Margaret Meyers, Medical Director at Mercy Primary Care Center, said her organization tries to help people navigate the system but the number of choices in the marketplace is daunting, and people don’t understand terms like coinsurance, deductibles and premiums. "The website can help patients think about why they would want health insurance and help patients answer some common questions about health insurance in an easy, comfortable format."

All organizations involved in the study sat on the Insure Detroit Steering Committee, which provided oversight and guidance of major initiatives of the study. For more information about the committee please visit the Partnership Overview page.

Intro All heroes and enrollment assisters


The Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center
University of Michigan School of Public Health (U-M SPH)
1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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