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Detroit – Three Michigan universities are using a $3.5 million federal grant renewal for efforts to improve the health of older blacks and other minorities.

The National Institutes of Health grant allows the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research to expand its work through 2023. The center’s research and education is led by faculty and staff from Wayne State University, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

Officials say black residents have higher rates of diabetes, stroke and other diseases than their white counterparts. Researchers seek to prevent health disparities.

The center has focused on Detroit since its 1997 launch, but the latest grant brings aboard Michigan State and expands work into Flint. Goals include establishing a Healthier Black Elders Center in Flint, based on the one in Detroit.

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