Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Current and Recent Projects

Impact of the Affordable Care Act on the Use of Preventive Services and Disparities in Use
Community-Based Early Identification of Mild Cognitive Impairment in At-Risk African Americans
Social Reintegration of Service Members and Veterans with Spinal Cord Injury
Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR)
Southeast Michigan Partners Against Cancer (SEMPAC)
Seniors Count!
Lifespan Investigation of Family, Health and Environment (LIFHE)


Impact of the Affordable Care Act on the Use of Preventive Services and Disparities in Use
Wassim Tarraf, PI. An 18-month grant of $69,000 from WSU and Henry Ford Health System to study how implementation of the ACA has affected the use of preventive services, and whether disparities in usage exist between racial groups.


Community-Based Early Identification of Mild Cognitive Impairment in At-Risk African Americans

 

Voyko Kavcic, PI. The National Institutes of Health awarded $201,000 over 18 months to use low-cost computerized tests and EEGs to detect early cognitive changes in otherwise healthy older African Americans and determine who may be at risk for later mild cognitive changes or Alzheimer’s disease.  African Americans have faster rates of cognitive decline than other races and are less likely to be diagnosed or receive treatment in its early stages.


Developing a Meaningful Life: Social Reintegration of Service Members & Veterans with Spinal Cord Injury
Co–PI’s Dr's. Mark Luborsky & Cathy Lysack
Funder: Department of Defense

A 3-year, dual-site grant of $456,000 from the Department of Defense to study the social reintegration of American service members and veterans who suffered spinal cord injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR)
Co-PI's: Jackson, J.S., & Lichtenberg, P.A.
NIH/National Institute on Aging (P30), 1997-2012 $8.9 million

The Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR) promotes health research on minority elders, particularly African American elders, that will lead to the reduction and elimination of health disparities as called for in Healthy People 2010 through several approaches consistent with the NIA’s 2005-2010 Strategic Plan. Exemplars of MCUAAAR’s efforts include a successful mentoring program focused on building a network of minority investigators who are committed to becoming productive scholars in the area of health and aging. Health promotion and the reduction and elimination of health disparities is only possible with the effective recruitment and retention of African American and other minority elders in health research. We will continue to build upon our productive research program in this area, and continue to reach out to seniors in the city of Detroit with the explicit purpose of building upon our developed databases of research participants. This volunteer participant pool is comprised of individuals who have agreed to be contacted to engage in health-related studies that have significance for their communities.

MCUAAAR is one of six center grants on Minority Aging Research funded by the NIA. Our particular center is a joint effort between Wayne State University and the University of Michigan and includes several departments and colleges from both institutions. To date, 30 pilot investigation studies have been completed. The center sponsors a summer conference each year to further educate junior faculty in the research process, research methods, and grant writing.
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Southeast Michigan Partners Against Cancer (SEMPAC)
PI: T. Albrecht, Karmanos Cancer Center & Head of Investigator Training Core: P.A. Lichtenberg
National Cancer Institute, 2010-2015 $4, 096, 000

This $4 million grant from the National Cancer Institute renews the original Detroit Community Network Program (CNP) for an additional five years. The goal of SEMPAC is to reduce cancer rates among Detroit's older, African American population by scholar training and networking with community organizations.


Seniors Count!

 

PI: Dr. Thomas B. Jankowski in collaboration with Adult Well Being Services of Detroit

A two-year grant of $275,000 to gather, integrate and publish a compilation of the available demographic, economic, health and social data on older adults in Southeast Michigan. An additional research enhancement award of $25,000 was given to the project by the American House Foundation.
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Lifespan Investigation of Family, Health and Environment (LIFHE)
A Lifespan Alliance Collaboration between Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute and Institute of Gerontology

The LIFHE Core Administrative Team includes:

Peter Lichtenberg, PhD, Director of IOG/MPSI; John Hannigan, PhD, Deputy Director, MPSI, Cathy Lysack, PhD, Deputy Director, IOG; Marc Kruman, PhD, Director, Center for the Study of Citizenship & Chair of History, Lisa Ficker, MA, LIFHE Project Director; Virginia Delaney-Black, MD, Associate Director, Children’s Research Center of Michigan; Bonnie Stanton, MD, Chair of Pediatrics; Teri Albrecht, PhD, Karmanos Cancer Institute

The LIFHE team interviewed 501 African Americans age 55 to 97 to understand senior activities, family relationships, attitudes, finances and health. “Our survey was like taking a ‘snapshot’ of information about people’s lives to better understand their challenges and resources,” Dr. Ficker, LIFHE project director, says.

LIFHE’s financial results showed 50% of seniors were somewhat satisfied with their income; but 28% were not at all satisfied. Seventy percent reported lower income than before they retired and 45% had reduced money spent on extras (such as clothing or recreation) in order to make ends meet. A full 54% of people interviewed live alone and almost 20% provide caregiving services for family members, friends and neighbors.

The data collected by the LIFHE team is now available to other researchers investigating the health, finances and social engagement of older African Americans. http://www.mpsi.wayne.edu/research/lifhe.php
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