Healthier Black Elders

Our Purpose

The Healthier Black Elders program is the community engagement core for the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR). The HBEC has been supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the past 22 years. Our goal is to address the health disparities that exist within the Detroit community. We depend on Detroit older adults to participate in our research and help inform our processes.

  • We maintain a Participant Resource Pool (PRP) – A database of older adults willing to engaging in research.
  • We educate the public by providing free workshops on topics of interest, including blood pressure, caregiving, diabetes, balance, fitness, brain health, nutrition and other topics relevant to successful aging.
  • We train healthcare professionals on issues relevant to caring for older African Americans
  • We share best research practices with universities, the community and healthcare providers
  • We train scholars to research the health of older African Americans

Wayne State University, Michigan State University, and the University of Michigan provide staff and faculty to jointly lead this initiative. The HBEC facilitates the operation of the Community Advisory Board and volunteers.

HBEC & Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR) Website

For more information, contact Vanessa Rorai at or 313-664-2604.

The Participant Resource Pool

Our core goal is to encourage more older African American adults to participate in research. Research is critical to understanding why African Americans are at much higher risk of developing certain diseases and why these diseases have a greater impact on their health and longevity. To address this problem, we created a Participant Resource Pool (PRP) of approximately 1,200 older African Americans willing to consider participating in research. If you agree to be part of the PRP, we guarantee that:

  • All research projects meet the highest quality federal state and university standards

  • Your information will be handled with the strictest confidence

  • You will be considered for research that is of interest to you

  • You have the right to decline a research project for any reason at any tim

Information for Researchers Interest in Accessing the Participant Resource Pool:
Research Volunteer Pool - Introduction, Instructions, Applications

Information on the Healthier Black Elders Center:
HBEC Newsletter
HBEC Brochure
IOG Calendar of Events