Health disparities in the news

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Improving Detroiters' health is focus of Wayne State summit

Residents of Wayne County are the unhealthiest of Michigan's 83 counties, according to a ranking by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Bridging that disparity was the target of a Wednesday summit at Wayne State University. Participants suggested ways to promote healthy eating, behaviors and environments. But the focus was on disparities affecting Detroit’s population, including asthma, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. The university brought together leaders of corporations, health care systems,  community organizations, foundations, policymakers and academics.
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NSF award to provide new insights on how drinking water and public health systems interact

A research team at Wayne State University recently received a four-year, $1.57 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for its project, “Water and Health Infrastructure Resilience and Learning.” The award is part of a multi-institutional $2 million collaborative project funded under NSF’s Critical Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Systems and Processes program.
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Wayne State offers counseling for Muslim women on campus

Wayne State University’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is offering a new service to Muslim women on college campuses. The new group, which will meet weekly, aims to provide a place for women to identify and discuss the issues and struggles of being a Muslim woman on a college campus. Kaifa Alsoofy, a university counselor at Wayne State who came up with the idea for the group, said in her work as a counselor, she’s seen Muslim women face issues like identity struggles and family, cultural or religious expectations.
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Wayne State to host Opioid Awareness Day Sept. 18

The opioid epidemic has devastated families across the nation, prompting Wayne State University to host an informative day on Tuesday, Sept. 18 from noon to 5:30 p.m. to educate others about the misuse, abuse and consequences of opioids. Through this day-long event, the university aims to better understand the scope of this crisis and how it impacts the local community. All students, faculty, staff and community members who are interested in gaining insight on opioids are welcome.
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President Wilson discusses the new Mike Ilitch School of Business on Conversations with WSU

Mildred Gaddis sat down with Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson, and Darrell Dawsey, director of community communications. Earlier this week, President Wilson joined with some of Detroit’s most important business leaders to announce the opening of the Mike Ilitch School of Business, which promises to be an incubator for some of Detroit’s sharpest minds and a boom for our local workforce. 
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Detroit woman builds village for neighborhood

"This is a part of Wayne State Medical School's social mission," said Dr. Jennifer Mendez, the medical school's director of co-curricular programs and assistant professor of internal medicine. "It is a way for our students to apply their classroom knowledge to real-life situations." The Wayne State students also formed an organization to support Auntie Na's this year after being inspired during volunteer efforts during the last school year. It includes about 20 members.
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$1.54 million NIH grant to improve cardiac function in heart failure

With the help of a $1.54 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, a research team from Wayne State University will establish a targeted approach to sustain cardiac function during an energetic crisis and heart failure. Led by Jian-Ping Jin, M.D., Ph.D., professor and William D. Traitel Endowed Chair of Physiology in the School of Medicine at Wayne State, the research team has focused on the area of protein structure-function relationships, particularly on protein engineering to improve muscle and heart functions.
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Wayne State receives $2 million NIH grant for new study on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health has awarded Wayne State University $2,063,188 for a new study that will analyze longitudinal data spanning 20 years collected from five U.S. cohorts, including 480 African-American mothers and children in the Detroit Longitudinal Cohort Study, to take a closer look at the key developmental outcomes and prenatal alcohol exposure levels that characterize FASD.

New methods make genetic testing simpler and faster

September is Tay-Sachs Awareness Month, highlighting a genetic disorder much more prevalent in the Jewish community than in the population at large. Concern about Tay-Sachs led to interest in screening for Jewish genetic diseases in the 1970s. Since then, the incidence of Tay-Sachs disease, which is invariably fatal, has fallen by more than 90 percent because of genetic screening. Jerry Feldman, M.D., a professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine and director of its Clinical Genetic Services, says the number of identified disorders more common in the Ashkenazi Jewish community has grown to more than 80, but he notes that beyond that, different labs may test for additional mutations that are found in many ethnic groups. 

$3.2M NIH Award To Wayne State To Improve Asthma Care/Outcomes In African American Youth

DETROIT – A research team led by Deborah Ellis, Ph.D., professor of family medicine and public health sciences in Wayne State University's School of Medicine, received a $3.2 million award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The grant will fund a study that will develop interventions to reduce barriers to optimal asthma management and reduce the risk for asthma-related deaths of minority children, with a focus on African American adolescents.