An Update from our Detroit Advisory Council

Our Detroit Advisory Council has been hard at work supporting our research and retention efforts in Detroit’s African American community. Earlier this fall, we welcomed several new members to our council. Our council membership now includes: 

  • James Bridgforth – Healthier Black Elders Center
  • Lena Nichols – Community Champion
  • Miles Maxey – Community Champion
  • Patricia Mullin – Healthier Black Elders Center
  • Patricia Rencher – Urban Aging News
  • Ronald Taylor – Detroit Area Agency on Aging
  • Willie Manning – Community Champion

The aim for this council is to expand research participation, enhance retention, and educate on the importance of brain donation in the African American population.

Back row, left to right: Willie Manning, Pat Rencher, Jim Bridgforth and Miles Maxey. Front row, left to right: Danielle Davis, Pat Mullin and Lena Nichols.

The council began new efforts toward this mission in the fall when they reviewed our Research Volunteer Form for inclusivity and accessibility by the African American population. Our center uses the RVF to gather initial information on those potentially interested in participating in center research. These efforts will ensure this pivotal form in the research recruitment process will be understandable and relatable to the population we hope to serve. 

This winter, the council also began a comprehensive analysis of our feedback procedures and materials for sharing with our research participants the results of their annual evaluation (e.g. their performance on memory tests, their results for diagnostic and imaging tests). This process, led by Annalise Rahman-Filipiak, PhD, is new to our center and one of our key ways of giving back to participants in appreciation for their volunteer efforts. The council took a close look at the procedures we follow for presenting testing feedback to our participants, as well as the resources that support these efforts to ensure that our efforts were supporting the retention of our African American participants. 

Our Detroit Advisory Council Lead, Danielle Davis, has also transitioned to working full time from our Detroit site at the U-M Detroit Center to further support the community. 

The council continues to support our work through the sharing of community events, resources, and groups that will help us learn how to better connect to the Detroit community. Through our council, and our team members, we hope our efforts will begin to embed us into the Detroit community to further educate and support the development of cures for all communities.