Community Capacity Building to Reduce Health Disparities

Some Capacity Building members

  • Principal Investigator: Marc Zimmerman, PhD, UM SPH
  • Project Manager: Julie Ober Allen, MPH, UM SPH
  • Project dates: 2004-2009 (former PRC/MI Core Research Project)
  • Funding Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


The goal of this project is to increase our Community Based Organization (CBO) partners’ capacity to more effectively identify and develop research questions that will address health behaviors and health disparities through individual, environmental, and systems change.

The project provides CBOs with several opportunities for: 1) understanding the effect of historical, cultural, and structural determinants of health disparities; 2) developing their infrastructure; 3) enhancing their capability to work with and effect University researchers and community institutions (e.g., Health Department, health service system); and 4) developing their power to influence state and local policy makers to effect environmental and systems change to address health priorities and health disparities of concern to them.

The intervention consists of comprehensive technical assistance (defined by CBOs) for CBOs. It also includes opportunities for CBOs to increase non-CBO capacity for working with communities.

A multiple case study design is used to document and evaluate organizational change. This project is guided by empowerment theory and will assess organizational change related to organizational empowerment.

Partner Organizations

Dort-Oak Park Neighborhood House
Faith Access to Community Economic Development (FACED)
Flint Odyssey House, Inc. Health Awareness Center
Genesee County Community Action Resource Department (GCCARD)
Genesee County Health Department
Greater Flint Health Coalition
Neighborhood Roundtable
YOUR Center

Capacity Building Steering Committee

Julie Allen, UM SPH (Interim Chair)
Kent Key, Flint Odyssey House, Inc. Health Awareness Center (Community Co-chair)
Lee Bell, Neighborhood Roundtable
Bob Boyler, Dort Oak Park Neighborhood House
Bettina Campbell, YOUR Center
E. Hill De Loney, Flint Odyssey House, Inc. Health Awareness Center
Rev. Hydrian Elliott, Dort Oak Park Neighborhood House
Erica Leverette, FACED
Yvonne Lewis, FACED
Lauren Shirey, Genesee County Health Department
Stephen Skorcz, Greater Flint Health Coalition
Arlene Sparks, GCCARD

Journal Articles


Books/Book Chapters

Technical Reports