The Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine announced funding for a first round of Urban Health Pilot Grants. These awards support collaborations between Case Western Reserve University faculty and students and community organizations to conduct pilot studies of programs that could ultimately have a significant impact on the health of area residents.

The funded projects include:

  • Jessica Kelley-Moore, College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Sociology, “Development and Validation of Cooking-Based Nutrition Education Classes”: In partnership with Ohio State University-Extension and the local housing authority, Kelley-Moore will develop a cooking-based nutrition education curriculum targeted to low-income adults. This course will address a need expressed by residents to learn how to prepare inexpensive yet healthy meals based on food available in their neighborhoods. Residents will then be better able to follow recommendations for chronic disease prevention and health maintenance.
  • Lynda Montgomery, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, “Learning Leadership through Community Engagement: the Improve Children’s Health Access Project”: The National Coordinator of Youth Leadership and Development for the Children’s Defense Fund will connect teams of first- and second-year medical students with neighborhood organizations where they will gain first-hand understanding of barriers children face in seeking health care and living healthy lives. The program will increase medical students’ awareness of the need for health care in underserved urban areas. Such experiences have been shown to increase the likelihood that medical students will continue their work with underserved populations after graduation.
  • Robert Salada, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, “Using Peer Educators to Improve Sexual Health in Glenville”: A network of peer educators will be developed at Glenville High School in partnership with the Urban League and the J. Glen Smith Health Center.

The Urban Health Initiative was established by CWRU School of Medicine in 2011 to improve the health of Cleveland area residents. Efforts focus on training providers to work with residents living in distressed urban areas to avoid and manage illness and to lead healthy lives; on encouraging community engagement in biomedical research; and on ensuring that research results benefit local residents.

Get Involved with the Urban Health Initiative by attending the first meeting of the Urban Health Coordinating Committee Meeting Feb. 29. Contact your department’s representative to learn how to get involved. If your department or program has not designated a representative, the chair or program director may do so by sending a nomination to Chris Olson, cao24@case.edu.