Magazine article Drug Topics

VODI-Impact: A Healthy Living Campus in Detroit

Magazine article Drug Topics

VODI-Impact: A Healthy Living Campus in Detroit

Article excerpt

Pharmacists help plan, implement a healthier, safer community

More than three years ago, the Conner Creek/Osbom community of northeastern Detroit was chosen for development as the site of a healthy living campus for local residents. With a declining population of just over 80,000 individuals and one-third living in poverty, this area became the recipient of a grant for a safety-net enhancement initiative from the Kresge Foundation.

The foundation had asked for a proposal addressing the healthcare needs of a community and a social determinant. In the case of Conner Creek/Osbom, the healthcare focus was diabetes and hypertension. According to data from the 2010 City of Detroit Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 14.4% of those age 18 and older reported diabetes and 27.4% reported hypertension. The social determinant within this program became safety, because of a high level of prevailing crime that included assault and battery, vehicle thefts, and damage to property.

Pharmacists were key to planning the needs assessment for the Voices of Detroit Initiative (VODI)-Impact: A healthy living campus. Community pharmacists provided feedback about the health of their community and helped to determine the priorities for the programs, said Nancy Lewis, PharmD, a consultant and adjunct associate research scientist, University of Michigan, College of Pharmacy.

"Pharmacists on our planning committees gave us input on specific interventions that we do for folks, which was very helpful and needed," Lewis said. "A lot of time pharmacists don't realize the role they can play in healthcare planning and policies. That was important for us."

A central hub

The healthy living campus is located in a central geographic area within the community, with an office in the community building that houses its partner, St. John Providence Health System. At the Conner Creek building, the Impact office is the place where residents are linked to various services on the campus or to partners of the program.

"We use the campus to bring in healthy living services, so that becomes the hub or safe place for people to come and receive services," said Lewis. "People who want to get involved in healthy living can find out about access to fresh food programs, fitness classes, and health information, as well as to health services."

Community pharmacists are offering services that include the promotion of medication lists and reviews of those lists. …

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