2023 Celebration with HiOH Flint Genesee Partnership!

June 15, 2023
Renee Bayer speaking to the audience about updates and announcements regarding Health in Our Hands

What a  great time to celebrate! The Health in Our Hands (HiOH) Team brought together the HiOH Flint Genesee Partnership (FGP) to share all of our accomplishments! The celebration was attended by 23 people from 14 different organizations. 

We would like to thank Jason Carliste with GCI for hosting the event and Omar Sims from HAP for sponsoring the wonderful Panera Bread Breakfast!

The HiOH Team were very excited to present the Evaluation Report for Year 4, Moving Forward with our Final Year and New Grant Proposal and last but not least Next Steps.

Tania Jarosowich, PhD, Censeo Group shared the evaluation report for Year 4:   191 7th grade students in 10 classrooms taught by 3 teachers in Atherton and Flint used the 7th grade Diabetes Unit. The SUD unit was used by 183 8th grade students in 10 classrooms with 3 teachers in Atherton and Flint. To culminate their learning experience, students completed Community Action Research Projects (CARP) and presented them to peers and community members at Health Summit events held at the Genesee Career Institute. The evaluation showed that the health summit plays an important role in students’ learning. Students who attended the health summit were more likely to report a stronger impact from the CARP than those who did not attend.

Consuleo Morales, PhD, the HiOH Academic Specialist, shared: How can the FGP help us with our ideas for next year focus.  Our plan is to pilot and evaluate strategies to  leverage partners to connect with families and community resources earlier to support teachers and students and  engage partners to advocate for teachers (community resource, health knowledge resource) to benefit teachers, students, and partners (individuals and organizations). Discussion will continue with teachers during the Aug 2, 2023 PL. 

Renee Bayer, MHSA, the HiOH Principal Investigator, shared the title of the grant proposal: Health in Our Hands: Advancing Community-Inspired Project-Based Learning (CI-PBL). A proposal is planned to be submitted to our funder,Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) National Institutes of Health Due July 14.

Maria Salinas, MS, the HiOH Project Coordinator shared about upcoming  Professional Learning which will take place beginning in August. We are requesting that community partners attend and help us plan a more robust connection between community members and the classroom to support student learning.  Also, we have scheduled the dates for the Health summits for this school year.Mark your calendars: SUD will take place on Friday, January 19, 2024 - University of Michigan - Flint and  Diabetes will take place on Thursday, January 25, 2024 at the Genesee Career Institute. Our meeting dates for next year will be sent out.  We asked partners to consider changing the times of our meetings so that teachers are able to attend. 

Thank you all for celebrating with HiOH and going on this journey with us. We couldn’t have done without you and we are excited to move forward!

Middle School Science Teachers Professional Learning Opportunities

July 20, 2023
Professional Learning Opportunities for Middle School Teachers 2023

Health in Our Hands Middle School Life Science Professional Learning Workshop Series! FREE with Funding from the National Institutes of Health!

Health Summits Were Back in 2023!

January 10, 2023
Community and University Partners judging 7th grader community action projects










For the first time since January 2019, Health in Our Hands Health Summits were held in-person.  Seventh and eighth graders from Holmes STEM Academy Middle School (Flint Community Schools) and Atherton Junior High completed the “Health in Our Hands” curriculum in science class.  The middle school curriculum consists of two units which focus on the concept of gene-environment interactions and natural selection through two community health concerns relevant to students, Type 2 diabetes (“What controls my health?") and Substance Use Disorder (“How can looking for thrills make me miserable?”). Health in Our Hands units culminate in a final project. Middle school students conducted an action research project to improve their school or neighborhood to help prevent or reduce disease. Students presented the results and recommendations at a Youth Health Summit to their peers, family and community onTuesday, January 10th and Tuesday, January 24th. Both events were hosted at the Genesee Career Institute (GCI) in Flint, Michigan.

During the  two health summits organized with community partners, 207 students presented to peers and about 50 adults.
Congratulations to our six teachers who enacted the curriculum and their students who participated:

  • Teacher: Ms. Felicia Johnson - Holmes STEM Academy Middle School   
    Class Question: How does social media and tv affect children’s food and exercise choice?
  • Teacher: Ms. Darlene Calvert  - Holmes STEM Academy Middle School 
    Class Question: How does the type of exercise affect our well-being?
  • Teacher: Ms. Lauren Jones - Atherton Jr/Sr High School                         
    Class Question: How does knowledge about nutrition affect school lunch choices?
  • Teacher: Ms. Terri Jones - Holmes STEM Academy Middle School
    Class Question: How does technology affect my well-being?
  • Teacher: Ms. Erin Sage - Holmes STEM Academy Middle School
    Class Question: How does technology affect my well-being?
  • Teacher: Ms. Joanie Rusinek - Atherton Jr/Sr High School
    Class Question: How do cell phones affect your daily life? 

Students from GCI videographed the health summit and also interviewed community partners. Tarnesa  Martin “Nurse T” with Hurley Medical Center shared “the health summit gives the students the opportunity to connect. Community is very important and one of the things about community is engagement. So when the students come here (GCI) they are able to connect with community leads and facilitators so when they do go out in the community they feel comfortable and familiar  with the education to be able to connect.”

Not only did our students present to community partners and their peers, Atherton Jr/Sr High School took their community action research project to the next level. The 8th grade students presented to their Board of Education on February 13th about “How do cell phones affect your daily life.”  The decision to create this research question came from the Atherton Community School cell phone ban November 2022. Students collected survey data from middle school, high school students and staff. The conclusion from their board presentation, “They (cellphones) are a major  factor in students, emotional and physical states. We can conclude that all of students do not feel they are addicted to their cellphones, their reactions (crying, skipping class, transferring schools etc.) indicate their addiction since they cannot be without cellphones. Teacher and staff data support this conclusion.” Read more about their interview with the Genesee County View.

Health in Our Hands Health Summits 2023

December 20, 2022
Health in Our Hands Health Summits 2023

Youth Diabetes: Tuesday, January 10th 

Substance Use Disorder: Tuesday, January 24th 

10am - 1:30pm

Genesee Career Institute

Conference Center

G-5081 Torrey Road 

Flint, MI 48507

Celebrating Recovery with Serenity House Communities

September 24, 2022
Walk and Rally Group Picture

On Saturday, September 24, 2022 Serenity House Committees hosted their 8th Annual Recovery Walk and Rally 2022. Maria Salinas, HiOH Project Coordinator, participated and helped out, distributing lunch to the attendees and encouraging participants to create posters to take along on the walk. Maria commented, “ What a  great experience to meet new people and listen to the recovery and remembrance stories of the attendees.

HiOH was pleased to support a wonderful community event like the 8th Annual Walk and Rally that brought many people together from all walks of life to share in the “Healing Happens” motto. Tara-Moreno Wallen, Founding Director of Serenity House Communities is an active community partner who attends the monthly HiOH Flint Genesee Partnership (FGP) Committee. The FGP connects the science classroom to community health through student centered learning and action research. Tara is very passionate about sharing her story and is also a great advocate for supporting the HiOH  middle school curriculum “ Substance Use Disorder: How can looking for thrills make me miserable?.”

Tara and her organization have played an  important part of supporting the HiOH middle school curriculum through in-class interviews with students. In 2021, Tara Moren-Wallen was a Genesee County Prevention Coalition (GCPC) Champion nominated by HiOH. The GCPC Prevention Champion “is someone who inspires others to take preventive actions to change the lives of youth and the community around them”.