Our Story

Community Action to Promote Healthy Environments (CAPHE) is a partnership among community based organizations, community residents, health service providers and public health researchers.

Our goal is to develop and implement components of a scientifically-based, community-led public health action plan to reduce air pollution and associated adverse health effects in Detroit and surrounding communities. CAPHE uses a community-based participatory research approach in which partners are involved in all phases of the work. This includes defining the research problem, designing and implementing the study, interpreting and distributing the results, deciding how results will be applied, and applying the results to create a public health action plan to improve health in Detroit. CAPHE has received funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation.

CAPHE builds on 20 years of community-academic research partnerships. At our inception, we drew on the work of three long-standing partnerships, each of which included community-based organizations, health practice and academic partners: Community Action Against Asthma, the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center and the Healthy Environments Partnership.  Over the years, we have built on and extended our membership, now encompassing representatives from community based organizations, including Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition, and Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision; governmental institutions, including the Detroit Health Department and Michigan Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; community leaders at large; academic institutions, including the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, Michigan Medicine, and Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan-Dearborn, and Wayne State University. Representatives from each of these organizations comprise the CAPHE Steering Committee, with responsibility for overseeing CAPHE’s day-to-day work, including conducting the basic research underlying the public health action plan, working collaboratively with others to develop the public health action plan, and working to implement prioritized components of the public health action plan.

CAPHE’s structure is designed to promote collaboration and shared decision making at all levels of the CAPHE project, and to assure that Detroit residents and leadership have a significant voice in identifying and creating solutions to promote clean air for Detroit’s residents.

Contact CAPHE

Alison Walding
Project Manager
Community Action to Promote Healthy Environments

University of Michigan School of Public Health
1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029

(734) 764-2955
walison@umich.edu