Uplifting residents, neighborhoods and communities throughout Michigan

Dean F. DuBois Bowman

Dean F. DuBois Bowman

As dean of Michigan Public Health, I have the privilege of leading a school of public health at one of the top public universities in the country. It’s my distinct honor to work with incredibly talented students, staff, faculty and alumni every single day to use our expertise to benefit communities around the world. While our work is global, as a public university, we have an obligation to ensure that our research supports the health of communities right here in our home state of Michigan.

In this issue of Findings, I’m excited to share the ways our school is working to uplift residents, neighborhoods and communities throughout Michigan. This takes many shapes, including a project to improve the workplace and living conditions for Michigan’s 96,000 migrant and seasonal farmworkers; research to quantify the impact of environmental exposures in our state on cancer risk; a pilot project to provide guaranteed monthly payments to individuals in Ann Arbor who have low incomes; and much more.

While this critical work helps support Michiganders, as academics, we strive to find successful interventions that can be applied more widely throughout the United States and even the world. You’ll see this reflected in our main story about stopping the epidemic of gun violence. This challenge can often feel insurmountable, but as you read the story, you’ll hear Michigan Public Health community members talk about how this is a public health problem with evidence-based public health solutions that we know can prevent injury and death.

In fact, several new pieces of gun safety legislation took effect in Michigan this past February. This includes laws addressing safe storage, new background checks, “red flag” laws, and a gun ban for those convicted of domestic violence. Some of these policies were supported by the work of Michigan Public Health faculty. Throughout the article, you’ll read about examples like this of School of Public Health community members advancing gun violence prevention in Michigan, as well as the ways that knowledge can be shared across the country to prevent firearm injury and death for all Americans.

I’m proud that we have a group of faculty, staff, students, postdocs and alumni at our school who are actively working in this space and who are tirelessly seeking to make changes in our state and country. We have a lot of work to do on this issue—there’s no doubt about that. But we know a better future is possible.

Let’s continue working together to ensure a brighter tomorrow for everyone.