Flint, MI—Since December 2020, the Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions has been releasing weekly COVID-19 briefs to inform the community on case trends. But after 63 weeks, those briefs will come out monthly. 

While cases have been trending downwards, FCHES Project Coordinator Mary Crawford said the decision to move to once monthly is “independent” of this.

The FCHES, an extension program of Michigan State University, has worked to eliminate COVID racial disparities in Flint by working health leaders at the local and state level. The weekly briefs were part of this effort. 

“The Health Equity Brief started out to advocate for policymakers to support public health institutions and experts through the pandemic while also providing the weather report of the trends in data,” Crawford said. 

FCHES is led by Director Debra Furr-Holden who also serves as associate dean for Public Health Integration at Michigan State University. She and her team of researchers and professors collaborate to compile the briefs, Crawford said. 

“Our team receives data every week from the health department and Furr-Holden and Rick Sadler really lead the way in tracking the emergence of disparities. We also monitor changes the magnitude of cases where race is unknown and geographic trends relative to the density of cases. This this is just one part of the process,” she said. 

Crawford said while they won’t be publishing weekly briefs, the team will still hold regular COVID updates via webinars. 

“Every Friday we are still on the Healthy Flint Research Coordinating Center’s Community Webinar on Coronavirus. Regardless of the frequency change, Dr. Debra Furr-Holden will be on every week dissecting the trends,” Crawford said, adding that she’ll also be speaking on health policies that affect residents. 

“I monitor proposed legislation and keep a running tab of bills, tracking their movement in the legislature. More importantly, I do a quick an analysis of proposed legislation of how it impacts us as individuals and as a community with a health equity lens. I want people to understand how health is determined politically,” Crawford said. 

Those interested in watching can do so here.

“Everyone has worked so hard to keep this going and we’ll continue to be there to answer questions at the HFRCC webinar so I would encourage everyone to continue tuning and continue reaching us with your questions. We’ll still be here!” Crawford said. 

Carmen Nesbitt

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...