Program for Multicultural Health Services
A group of multi ethnic people talking to each other.

Serving Diverse Populations

We partner with community organizations to better serve diverse populations and meet culturally unique health needs.

About Program for Multicultural Health

Learn more about our services below.

Culturally Responsive Healthcare
UMHS is committed to provide high quality, culturally responsive, and patient-centered care to all patients and their families. PMCH supports this goal by providing training and education to students, academia, and health professionals to enhance knowledge and skills to better serve culturally diverse populations. Services includes client needs assessments, tailored presentations on culturally responsive care, evaluation and reporting.

Community Service-Learning
Community service-learning internships are provided for both undergraduate and graduate level students. The internships allow students to utilize theory learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world. Students gain practical knowledge and skills to develop, implement, and evaluate community-based, culturally responsive health programs for diverse populations.

PMCH partners with multiple academic departments at the University of Michigan (School of Nursing, Medical School, School of Public Health, etc.) to develop internships for students. Partnerships with community agencies allow students to work in settings such as summer camps, schools, housing communities, faith-based organizations, and community centers. Examples of activities include:

  • Collect and analyze needs assessment and program outcome data
  • Design and implement health education, nutrition, physical activity, and empowerment workshops
  • Create culturally responsive health education tools
  • Facilitate dialogue/discussion groups
  • Lead healthy cooking demonstrations.

Consultations allow PMCH to build knowledge and skills of organizations to enhance their ability to serve culturally diverse populations. Community organizations receive technical assistance to enhance projects or services. Support may include assistance with program development, evaluation, grant writing, resource referrals or other assistance. Examples include:

Our collaborative partnerships with community organizations provide opportunities to design initiatives to meet culturally unique health needs. In alignment with Michigan Medicine, our programs focus on mental health, substance use disorders, obesity and related illnesses, and pre-conceptual and perinatal health, all identified by the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) as the most pressing needs of the community. Programming is tailored to the needs of the community and held where people live, learn, work, and play.

Community Flu & Wellness Clinics
The best way to protect yourself and your family against the flu is to get vaccinated every fall. The annual partnership between Community Health Services, the Program for Multicultural Health, Interpreter Services, UM School of Nursing, the UM School of Public Health, and the UM College of Pharmacy - called Michigan Community and Interprofessional Practice Training (M-CIPT) - provides free flu vaccines to high risk community members (uninsured, underinsured, individuals with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, chronic lung and heart disease, pregnant women, people age 65+, and anyone living with or caring for other high risk individuals). Annual clinics are held at locations such as community centers and faith-based agencies.

Health Sparks!
Health Sparks is a school-based culturally responsive, interactive health education and physical activity promotion intervention designed to engage middle and high school students at the Michigan Islamic Academy (MIA), a local K-12 private school. Health Sparks is a community-university collaboration and include community partner the Michigan Islamic Academy MIA as well as Michigan Medicine partners: PMCH and Health Education for Young Adults (HEPYA). HEPYA is a student-run organization at University of Michigan. The goals of the program are to develop a culturally-responsive health intervention that engages MIA middle and high school students, and to build health knowledge, health awareness, and health behavior practice among MIA students that incorporate Islamic cultural principles and practices. HEPYA students are trained on effective community engagement principals and practice.

The program engages students in weekly health promotion workshops, led by HEPYA students, student athletes, MIA upper class students who act as “Health Ambassadors,” and health professionals.

Empower U
Empower U is a leadership and empowerment program designed to build knowledge and skills in adolescents in ways that enable them to succeed. The purpose is to improve self-sufficiency and increase the knowledge and skills of adolescents in ways that help them make choices that improve overall health and quality of life. Collaborative partners include Parkridge Community Center and Pathways to Success Academic Campus.

The program encompasses best practice approaches that use an individual developmental assets model to build positive, successful social and psychological development of youth. The program engages participants (youth ages 11-18) in culturally responsive, community-based weekly workshops on topics such as self-esteem, value identification, interpersonal skills, healthy friendships, self-respect and time-management. Youth learn through interactive activities, videos, role playing, field trips, and discussions.

Empower U is currently funded by Community Health Services at Michigan Medicine. United Way of Washtenaw County was the initial funder of the program.

For more information about the Empower U program, watch this video on Michigan Medicine's Youtube Channel.

Health Cafés
Health Cafés is a community-based, community-informed health education program that provides community participants credible and reliable health information. The objective of Health Cafés is to increase health literacy and positive health behavior as a cultural norm by engaging participants in culturally responsive, successive, interactive educational group sessions that extend healthcare reach and access to community and prepares future generations of health experts.

Specific program goals are to:

  • Increase positive interaction between community, clinicians and health professionals who serve them.
  • Increase participant knowledge of behavioral strategies for chronic disease prevention and management.
  • Improve community perceptions of healthcare.

The program is the result of collaboration between Chi Eta Phi Nurses Sorority, Family Empowerment Program, (a program of Eastern Michigan University), Michigan Medicine Department Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Program for Multicultural Health.

Hepatitis B Project (Education, Screening, Vaccination and Treatment)
The Hepatitis B Project has provided screening and education to the Asian American community since 2006. Over the last decade, the project provided free screening, education and when available, low-cost vaccinations for eligible community members. The project became affiliated with PMCH in 2009 under the leadership of the Asian Center for Southeast Michigan. The project has continually received support from Anna Lok, MD, FRCP, Director of the Hepatology Program at Michigan Medicine. Education is the prime focus along with continued screening among Asian Americans.

Tai-chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention
Tai-chi is an ancient Chinese martial art exercise, has been proven in studies that it would help elderly to maintain their flexibility. An evidence-based tai-chi program was developed by the Tai Chi for Health Institute and has proven to be helpful to prevent arthritis and fall. Several workshops were offered to Asian Americans and community at large. Many people experienced pain reduction and better balance after taking the class. This form of tai-chi will be continuously offered to the community.

Community Health Tent
PMCH organizes the Community Health Tent, a Community Health Services-sponsored annual event now held at Parkridge SummerFest and Joe Dulin Day. The Community Health tent offers featuring onsite family friendly interactive health education, health promotion activities, and health screenings all free of charge to participants. The annual Parkridge Summerfest and Joe Dulin Day community event is held the last weekend in August at Ypsilanti's Parkridge Park and features live performances, food, vendors, and community resources and information, and more. The Community Health Tent, is a collaboration between various departments and providers at Michigan Medicine 

PMCH conducts research to amplify and translate community's health needs and interests into effective intervention programs. Research is collaborative, interdisciplinary and informed by several best practice models such as the Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and qualitative research methods. Outcomes enhance initiatives that improve and impact community health as well as inform public health practice and training. For example, data from one study became the focus of a Detroit Urban Academic Research Center (DURC) funded community-university partnership to translate output into strategies that increase social and structural support for breastfeeding among Black women. Results from PMCH research inform the work of local, state, national, and international organizations and individuals. Several studies were funded by the Michigan Institute for Clinical Health Research (MICHR) and led by PMCH staff. Results from research are published across various mediums and are listed below.

  1. Johnson, A. & Zamani, H. (2021). Addressing the Cumulative Cost of COVID-19 for Communities of Color. University of Michigan Health Lab.
  2. Johnson, A., Menke, R., Handelzalts, J., Green, K., & Muzik, M. (2021). Reimagining Racial Trauma as a Barrier to Breastfeeding Versus Childhood Trauma and Depression Among African American Mothers. Breastfeeding Medicine, 16(6), 493-500.
  3. Johnson, A., & Zynda, K. (2020). Amplifying Community Engagement as Voice in Qualitative Research Designs: Lessons Learned from a Maternal Health Study. SAGE Research Methods Cases.
  4. Briggs-Gowan, M.J., Muzik, M., Drury, S.S., Gaston-Hawkins, L., Moyer, C., Gleason, M. M., Johnson, A., Carter, A.S., Ford, J.D., Grasso, D.J. (2020). The Epidemic – Pandemic Impacts Inventory Labor and Delivery Supplement (EPII-LD). University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
  5. Johnson, A. (2019). Playing Catch-Up: The Cumulative Effects of Gender, Race, and SES as a Parent in the Academy. National Center for Institutional Diversity.
  6. Dayton, C. J., Johnson, A., Hicks, L. M., Goletz, J., Brown, S., Primuse, T., . . . Muzik, M. (2018). Sex Differences In The Social Ecology Of Breastfeeding: A Mixed Methods Analysis Of The Breastfeeding Views Of Expectant Mothers And Fathers In The Us Exposed To Adversity. Journal of Biosocial Science,51(3), 374-393.
  7. Johnson, A., & Muzik, M. (2017). Community-based focus group development: Identifying strategies to address critical issues underlying racially disparate breastfeeding outcomes. SAGE Research Methods Cases.
  8. Johnson, A. M., Kirk, R., Rooks, A. J., & Muzik, M. (2016). Enhancing Breastfeeding Through Healthcare Support: Results from a Focus Group Study of African American Mothers. Maternal and Child Health Journal,20(S1), 92-102
  9. Johnson, A. & Muzik, M. (2016). Response to "Clarification of the 'Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act". Journal of Human Lactation,32, 388-389.
  10. Johnson, A. M., Kirk, R., & Muzik, M. (2015). Overcoming Workplace Barriers: A Focus Group Study Exploring African American Mothers’ Needs for Workplace Breastfeeding Support. Journal of Human Lactation, 31(3), 425-433.
  11. Johnson, A., Kirk, R., Rosenblum, K. L., & Muzik, M. (2015). Enhancing Breastfeeding Rates Among African American Women: A Systematic Review of Current Psychosocial Interventions. Breastfeeding Medicine,10(1), 45-62.
  12. Johnson, A. M. (2010). Analyzing the social context of disparate breastfeeding outcomes through intersectional paradigms: Lessons learned from a qualitative study of African American mothers. (Doctoral dissertation), Michigan State University.
  13. Smith, Y. R., Johnson, A. M., Newman, L. A., Greene, A., Johnson, T. R., & Rogers, J. L. (2007). Perceptions of Clinical Research Participation among African American Women. Journal of Womens Health,16(3), 423-428.
  14. Johnson, A., Hoffman, C., Bengel, C., Issa, M., Kenneally, M., Harris, S., Rosenblum, K., & Muzik, M. (In press). Holding the whole person: Perinatal Women’s Perspectives on the Integrated Infant Mental Health Care Model in Obstetrical Care During COVID-19 Pandemic.
  15. Forer, R., Johnson, A., Warburton-Silva, A., Carter, B., Fernandez, C., Novara, S.; Rosenblum, K., & Muzik, M. (In press). Continuous Quality Improvement to Address Cultural Responsiveness of a Perinatal Parenting and Mental Health Intervention: The Mom Power Project.

Virtual Town Hall: COVID-19 and the African American Community - Equitable Vaccine Distribution - PART II

Panelists will answer your questions on the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process, strategies to increase vaccinations among African Americans, and ways to make the process more equitable.

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Contact Us
We've moved! Please note our new address below.

Community Health Services
Program for Multicultural Health
3621 S. State Street
KMS Place
Suite 710
Ann Arbor MI, 48108