More than $1M in grants awarded to Detroit Health Dept.

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

The Detroit Health Department has won more than $1 million in grant funds to support new initiatives for early childhood, asthma care, environmental health and teen pregnancy prevention, officials said Thursday.

“Our department is rebuilding around the well-being of our children, and the confidence of funders, such as the Kresge Foundation and the Skillman Foundation, in our efforts to fundamentally improve infant health, reduce teen pregnancy, and reduce asthma and its consequences is a testament to the value of this work,” said Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, executive director and Health Officer for the Detroit Health Department.

The funds will support early childhood and increased immunizations, asthma care, environmental health and teen pregnancy prevention, officials said

The two-year funds total $1,023,500 coming from state, public and foundation grants, officials said. The money is meant to cover five different city programs.

The Kresge Foundation awarded $612,500 to the Detroit Ready 2 Learn Initiative, supporting early childhood development, increased immunizations, WIC, and a new project aimed at reducing infant mortality through peer mentoring.

The Skillman Foundation awarded $150,000 to the Detroit Responsive Environment for Asthma Care and Treatment (D-REACT), an initiative using "smart inhalers" supplied to residents to generate real-time, anonymous information on city air quality. Officials hope to use the data to create a real-time map of areas where poor air quality may be triggering symptoms.

The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation awarded $198,000 to the Environmental Health Equity to support strategies focused on "protecting residents from environmental hazards," officials said. The funds also will contribute to a two-year fellowship working with city and nonprofits to improve environmental health, support food access and increase neighborhood walkability.

The Michigan Department of Health provided funds supporting the last two city initiatives, officials said.

The Teen Pregnancy Prevention program was awarded $35,000 to help expand access to long-acting, reversible contraceptives. The Detroit Health Department will work directly with teens, providers and the communities to implement the initiative.

Lastly, the city's Zika/West Nile Mosquito Surveillance program was awarded $28,000 from the state to further testing and low-cost surveillance, with the goal of identifying insect populations at risk of streaking the diseases.

(313) 223-4616