The Healthy Environments Partnership (HEP), established in 2000, is a partnership among: Detroit-based community organizations, including Brightmoor Community Center, Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, Friends of Parkside, and Rebuilding Communities, Incorporated; community members; public health agencies (Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion); health service organizations (Henry Ford Health System); and academic institutions (University of Michigan School of Public Health ).
We use a community-based participatory research approach to conduct research that leads to a better understanding of the relationship between the environment and cardiovascular disease, and to develop, implement and evaluate interventions designed to improve the heart health of Detroit neighborhoods.
Since our inception in 2000, we have examined:
- Stressful social and economic conditions in Detroit neighborhoods and cardiovascular risk
- Built environments (e.g. neighborhood walkability) and cardiovascular risk
- Food environments (e.g. location of grocery stores, access to healthy foods) and cardiovascular risk
- Air quality (e.g. exposure to airborne particulate matter) and blood pressure
We have also worked in partnership with other community groups to develop, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to promote heart health, and heart healthy environments. To learn more, check out our projects.
In keeping with our community-based participatory research approach, our partners, representatives from community-based organizations, public health and health service organizations, community residents, and academic institutions, are involved in all phases of this work, including defining the research problem, design and implementation of the study, interpretation and dissemination of the results, and decisions about how the results will be applied to improve heart health in the city of Detroit.
We continue to work with other community groups in the city of Detroit to better understand factors that influence heart health, and to apply these findings to the development, implementation and evaluation of interventions and policies to improve heart health in the city, with a particular focus on eastside, northwestand southwest Detroit. These efforts include working with community organizations to promote heart health through support for walkable neighborhoods, and to promote walking through our Walk Your Heart to Health Walking Groups.