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

Eastside Village Health Worker Partnership

Funding Source CDC
1st Cycle: $595,108 (Direct); 1995-99
2nd Cycle: $1,017,163 (Direct); 1999-2003
Goals & Objectives: To test a conceptual model of the stress process for understanding social determinants of health affecting women living in an urban community, using a community-based lay health advisor intervention.
Eastside Detroit residents, primarily African American women and children. Approximately 6,000 households.
Partners: Detroit Health Department, Eastside Parish Nurse Network, Friends of Parkside, Henry Ford Health System, Islandview Department Corporation, Village Health Workers, Warren/Conner Development Coalition, UM School of Public Health.
Intervention: Approximately 70 community members trained as volunteer VHWs provide education/advocacy for community residents with a focus on 5 priority areas: community-police relationships, child caregiver support, economic development, access to quality health care, and diabetes/CVD.
Outcome Indicators: Individual level: raised knowledge re: community resources,
Organizational level: raised agency coordination;
Community level: lowered stressors (e.g., physical safety);
Policy level: raised knowledge about policy change and enforcement.
Methods & Analyses: Pre-post community survey of east side Detroit women (base-line '96 n=700; f/u '02, n=366). In-depth interviews; annual process questionnaires; participant feedback; field notes; evaluation to assess partnership effectiveness.
Results: Baseline survey had 80% response rate. Findings (e.g., 36% of respondents concerned about police response time) used to identify priority areas for VHW intervention. F/U survey data analysis ongoing. Numerous basic research articles published from data.


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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