The Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and Michigan State University Extension
The 2014 Cooperative Extension National Framework for Health and Wellness identified the need for Extension to create partnerships and secure adequate resources to respond to Americans’ health conditions and disparities in communities.
MSU College of Human Medicine
- Since 1964, the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Human Medicine has drawn upon MSU’s land-grant values to educate exemplary physicians, discover and disseminate new knowledge, and respond to the needs of the medically underserved in communities throughout Michigan.
- The medical school’s six statewide community campuses offer access to diverse populations and support research and medical education in a variety of clinical settings.
- MSU Extension has a 100-year history of being a local resource in communities throughout the state. MSU Extension educators have long-standing community connections and expertise in addressing health-related issues. Extension educators are experts in providing education to diverse audiences.
- Extension educators add to the interdisciplinary efforts needed for communityengaged research. They understand and can prioritize health needs in communities, educate audiences, train leaders and facilitate networking.
- »The MSU College of Human Medicine recognizes that MSU Extension experts, who are embedded in communities throughout the state, can provide linkages, recruitment assistance and dissemination expertise.
- MSU Extension program development that meets specific community needs will expand based on outcomes identified by MSU College of Human Medicine researchers.
- Researchers look to MSU Extension to assist in the recruitment of human subjects and participate directly in externally funded research.
- As a result of research, MSU Extension staff will have increased opportunities to apply for grant funding.
- Through county Extension offices, MSU has the community presence and local credibility needed to influence the social, economic and environmental determinants of health.
- MSU College of Human Medicine and MSU Extension partnership will serve as a model to promote nationwide health partnerships between land-grant universities and academic faculty.
Meet the Staff
Extension Health Research is made up of doctoral and master’s-degreed educators who specialize in health and nutrition.
Directed by Dr. Jeffrey Dwyer, MSU College of Human Medicine senior associate dean for innovation and community partnerships, and Dr. Dawn Contreras, director of the MSU Extension Health and Nutrition, Extension Health Research educators implement community-based approaches in six regional clinics throughout the state:
- Linda Cronk, M.A. – MSU College of Human Medicine Traverse City campus
- Cathy Newkirk, M.S. –MSU College of Human Medicine Flint campus
- Holly Tiret, M.Ed. – MSU College of Human Medicine Grand Rapids campus
- Erin Carter, M.S. – MSU College of Human Medicine Marquette campus
- Cheryl Eschbach, Ph.D. – statewide support for evaluation
- TBA – MSU College of Human Medicine Midland campus
Extension Health Research:
- Increase internal university partnerships that foster interdisciplinary and collaborative research. Targeted efforts to build relationships between MSU Extension and other university colleges and departments committed to human health include Human Development/Human Ecology, Public Health, Health Sciences, Psychology, Sociology, Public Policy, Law and Life Sciences. The aim is to foster interdisciplinary and collaborative health programs.
- Through a community-based approach, engage communities in the university’s clinical and translational health research. Establish and/or strengthen relationships between MSU Extension and state health departments, federally qualified health centers, health plans, local healthcare providers, and health-related private and public organizations with the aim of keeping Americans healthy.
Why we’re doing what we’re doing
MSU College of Human Medicine scientists conducting community-based research need community linkages, recruitment support and dissemination expertise. MSU Extension is positioned to provide this support, which will identify additional local needs for Extension programming.
Assessment of national trends (full details on ECOP Health Task Force Report, pages 5-10):
- Public health policy shifts
- Health conditions
- Health disparities
- Economic situation
- Population changes
- Health Literacy
Our future – community impacts
This unique partnership has many goals, but the primary objective is improved health outcomes for the citizens of Michigan. Through the combined efforts of MSU researchers, MSU Extension educators and engaged communities, individuals will have increased understanding of health topics through helpful materials, improved knowledge of health decisions and options through education, and increased individual empowerment to make decisions through health information.
A second objective is community-based – engaging communities in the university’s clinical and translational health research. Outcomes include improved health of vulnerable populations across the spectrum of healthcare as well as quality improvement in primary care practices.
Partnerships with state health departments, federally qualified health centers, local health care providers and health-related organizations result in mutually beneficial public-private partnerships that increase financial resources to land-grant universities, resulting in increased capacity for Extension professionals to conduct and participate in health research projects as part of interdisciplinary teams.
For additional information on MSU Extension programs and topics: