Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research
Healthier Black Elders Center
The work of the CLRC is carried out by the Healthier Black Elders Center (HBEC), which is physically located at the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University. The HBEC is a diverse group of educators, community members, national advisors, and researchers who work to improve the health of older adults living in the metro Detroit area and Flint.
The goal of the program is to target and reduce health disparities through research and education. There is a low representation of older African American adults in research and this program aims to increase their participation through our research registry, the Participant Resource Pool (PRP). Older African American adults are invited to become a member of the HBEC program in which they are added to the PRP registry and our mailing list to receive health education information. The program works to reduce differences in the health status of elderly minorities by focusing community-based educational events (lunch & learns) on health promotion, disease, and disability prevention activities, thereby allowing older African Americans and their families to have better health now and in the future.
This is accomplished through the collection of research data used to understand and resolve problems associated with the health of African Americans. Towards that end, partnerships have been created with community-based organizations and individuals. These partnerships involve:
- Removing barriers to African Americans’ participation in research.
- Developing new approaches for educators and researchers working with minority populations.
- Using funds to create new ways to improve the health of older Detroiters and their families, particularly through educational programs like the Lunch & Learns.
- Partnering with older adults on research through the HBEC Participant Resource Pool.
Wayne State University, University of Michigan, and Michigan State University provide the faculty who jointly lead the Healthier Black Elders Center (HBEC). Faculty leaders, staff, and the Community Advisory Board members work together to improve the health of older African Americans in Detroit through a combination of education and research.