University of Michigan officials have secured $131,500 in donor gifts to fund seven projects to help address the Flint water crisis.

Among the seven projects selected for funding, according to the university website: a research team is examining the long-term impact of drinking lead-contaminated water on Flint residents using experts from the School of Public Health, UM-Flint’s School of Health Professions and Studies and Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine.

Another project involves staff from UM-Flint, the Ann Arbor campus and the Valley Area Agency on Aging analyzing data to examine the epidemiological effects of lead exposure on vulnerable adults in the Flint community by focusing on those who receive home care services.

“My hope for the research is that we’re able to identify the ways our most vulnerable senior populations, such as those receiving home care services, are being impacted by the water crisis so we can improve and modify programs to better address those needs,” Kathryn C. Boles, executive director of the Valley Area Agency on Aging, said in a statement this week.

The projects were identified after UM-Flint Chancellor Susan E. Borrego and UM-Flint Provost Douglas Knerr hosted more than 140 faculty members from the Flint, Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses on Jan. 29 to discuss ideas for collaborations and opportunities to work with groups responding to the situation.

UM President Mark Schlissel pledged to net seed funding to quickly launch the efforts. Officials reviewed a dozen research proposals.

“I was gratified to see the wide-ranging scope of proposals we received from our talented faculty members across all three of our campuses. It is a true testament to how deeply committed the university community is to Flint’s recovery from this crisis,” said Schlissel, who met with students, faculty and community partners Monday in Flint.

“The seed money is the first round of funding needed to quickly launch these projects, and we are confident that it will lead to even more robust research efforts that will assist the Flint community in the immediate and longer term.”

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