DETROIT - The Wayne State University School of Medicine has partnered with the Detroit Lions Living for the City philanthropic initiative that focuses on sustainable community health, wellness and development.
In a partnership that’s the first of its kind between an NFL franchise and a university medical school, the Detroit Lions and WSU School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences will work with Detroit residents, especially children, to teach methods to improve health, conduct health fairs and plan other programs, event and activities.
“Having a highly respected academic resource like the Wayne State University School of Medicine further validates our Living for the City health and wellness efforts,” said Tom Lewand, Detroit Lions Team President. “This partnership will also strengthen the impact that we both have in our community.”
Launched in 2012, the Detroit Lions Living for the City supports transformational efforts that improve the well-being of metropolitan Detroit’s underserved. The initiative supports organizations that pursue integrated approaches to physical fitness, healthy eating, housing, land use and environmental planning, public transportation and community infrastructure.
Following its launch, Dana Rice, Dr.P.H., research associate of family medicine and public health sciences, and spouse of former Detroit Lions safety Ron Rice, began meeting with team officials to discuss ways in which the department could partner with the community program.
“Based on those conversations, we both felt that the relationship between our major academic medical institution and our local NFL team could only enhance both missions,” said Dr. Rice, who will take the lead on the affiliation for the WSU School of Medicine.
The school joined Living for the City as part of the federally-funded Bridges to Equity program, which is housed in the Family Medicine Department. Bridges to Equity develops and implements educational programming to engage medical students in inter-professional collaboration with public health students and faculty on community-based projects to reduce health disparities.
“This collaborative effort will provide another structured active learning approach for the students in this area as well as an opportunity for faculty and staff to share their expertise and knowledge on a variety of public health and medical issues with the Detroit Lions and their partners,” said Juliann Binienda, Ph.D., assistant professor of family medicine and public health sciences, and principal investigator of the school’s Bridges to Equity program.
The Wayne State University School of Medicine participated in the Detroit Lions’ 2012 Hometown Huddle, which took place at the Detroit Lions Academy, and was a major partner for the 2013 Meet Up & Eat Up with the Lions program.
About Wayne State University
Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students. Its School of Medicine is the largest single-campus medical school in the nation with more than 1,200 medical students. In addition to undergraduate medical education, the school offers master's degree, Ph.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. programs in 14 areas of basic science to about 400 students annually. For more information, please visit www.wayne.edu.
About Living for the City
Living for the City is the philanthropic program of The Detroit Lions. Its goal is to support transformational efforts that improve the well-being of metro Detroit’s underserved communities. Living for the City focuses on sustainable health and wellness initiatives and community development. Living for the City supports organizations that pursue integrated approaches to physical fitness, healthy eating, housing, land use and environmental planning, public transportation, community infrastructure, and aligned workforce opportunities. For more information, please visit www.detroitlions.com/community.