“Today, we will be taking a journey of collaboration together. You will be asked, and I hope that you will take the opportunity to share your thoughts on how MICHR can support you, your community, and your concerns and how you can support each other as we seek to advance and share our mission to improve the health and wellness of everyone in our state,” said Elder Sarah Bailey, CEO of Bridges Into the Future and community representative on the MICHR cabinet, at the opening of the IDEAL-CTS MICHR mixer for community and academic partners in December 2023.

In her opening talk at the mixer, Elder Bailey spoke of her experience working with MICHR at the onset of the Flint water crisis as an example of the importance of community-centered research and emphasis on research solutions that can help multiple communities more quickly. MICHR Director Dr. Julie Lumeng spoke about how MICHR is poised to continue leading in that space as she described MICHR’s latest Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Dr. Lumeng described MICHR’s focus on translational science using the metaphor of an assembly line, saying, “We are being asked to develop innovative ways for research institutions to run research so that it makes it more efficient so that the assembly line runs more quickly with less waste, greater efficiency, and higher quality. One way to think about it is the science of science, how to design better systems and processes that improve health research.”

Integral to achieving that mission are events like the mixer, which bring together community and academic partners to share ideas and knowledge. Ella Greene-Moton, President of the American Public Health Association and the event’s keynote speaker, invited attendees into the “e-zone” where everyone is energized, engaged, and empowered. That call carried participants through the event as they gathered in groups, large and small, to share ideas, brainstorm, and connect. Topics discussed included health equity, clinical trials, and the digital divide.

An upcoming symposium, hosted by IDEAL on April 12th, will continue the conversations started at the mixer and offer an opportunity to engage with this emerging initiative and celebrate innovative work already underway across the state of Michigan.

12/1/2023 The Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research hosts its annual statewide retreat with community members at the Marriott Eagle Crest in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

A group photo of people who attended the December mixer.