A City of Resilience: Public Health in Detroit

illustration of a group of people and the Detroit skyline

Detroit is more than a single city — it’s hundreds of neighborhoods and hundreds of thousands of people living, working and growing together.

In Population Healthy’s Season One finale, University of Michigan researchers and alumni including Abdul El-Sayed and The Skillman Foundation's Tonya Allen explore the unique public health challenges facing the Motor City, and how they’re working directly with Detroiters to help make the city a healthier place.

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In This Episode

Tonya AllenTonya Allen

President and CEO of the Skillman Foundation

Tonya Allen is an alumna of the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She has dedicated her career to improving lives in her hometown of Detroit. Currently, Allen is the president and CEO of the Skillman Foundation, which supports the well-being of Detroit's children through grant-making and civic leadership. For her visionary and high-impact work, Allen received a U-M Bicentennial Alumni Award in 2017. Learn more.

Abdul El-Sayed

Abdul El-Sayed

Physician, epidemiologist, public health expert, and progressive activist

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is chair of Southpaw Michigan and a senior fellow at the Governing Institute. Dr. El-Sayed served as Health Commissioner for the City of Detroit, appointed to rebuild the city’s health department after it was privatized during municipal bankruptcy. He was the youngest health official in a major US city. He is a native Michigander born and raised in Metro Detroit, where he lives with his wife, Sarah, a mental health doctor, and daughter, Emmalee. Learn more.

Paul Fleming

Paul Fleming

Assistant Professor, Department of Health Behavior & Health Education

Dr. Fleming's research focuses on the social determinants of health and health behaviors, with a particular focus on developing and evaluating interventions in poor and marginalized communities in Michigan and abroad. In the work he is initiating in Michigan, he uses a community-based participatory approach with Latino immigrants to examine how policies and discrimination contribute to poor physical and mental health outcomes. Learn more.

Roshanak MehdipanahRoshanak Mehdipanah

Assistant Professor of Health Behavior & Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health

Dr. Mehdipanah's current research portfolio focuses on aspects of urban health including urban renewal, planning, housing and gentrification. She specializes in innovative research methods including realist evaluations and concept mapping to develop conceptual frameworks linking complex interventions to health. Learn more. 

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