Project Summary

Background: Obesity inequities persist for preschoolers from low-income and minority backgrounds. Several provider, family, and systems barriers challenge recommendations that pediatric weight management should begin in primary care. Detroit is the second most obese city in the United States and has the highest childhood poverty rate in the nation. Most residents are also African American. The project team is thus uniquely positioned to establish partnerships to develop and conduct patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) to reduce obesity-related health inequities for young children.

Solution: Adapt and implement an efficacious capacity-building model (Detroit HealthLink for Equity in Cancer Care) to increase Family-Pediatrician Partnership Community Advisory Board (FPP-CAB) membership and create capacity and infrastructure for preschool obesity-related PCOR in Detroit.

Objectives: The long-term objective is to establish a thriving community-academic partnership actively engaged in PCOR to reduce preschool obesity inequities. Application goals are: increase capacity of community stakeholders to engage in preschool obesity-related PCOR; develop PCOR solutions to address FPP-CAB health priorities; and build community stakeholder-researcher partnerships. Goals will be achieved by completing the following objectives: increase FPP-CAB membership as outlined in its governance structure; adapt formal capacity-building curriculum for preschool obesity-related PCOR; train FPP-CAB members in the revised capacity-building curriculum; produce and disseminate a formal report on PCOR solutions for addressing FPP-CAB health priorities; and establish the Community-Based Obesity Research Network (CORN) to facilitate preschool obesity-related PCOR.


  • Adapt cancer-related PCOR “Building Your Capacity” curriculum for preschool obesity-related PCOR
  • Implement the FPP-CAB recruitment plan
  • Engage FPP-CAB members in adapted capacity-building curriculum
  • Train one FPP-CAB member and a HealthLink specialist in Boot Camp Translation (BCT)
  • Implement BCT to identify PCOR solutions for FPP-CAB health priorities
  • Host the inaugural CORN meeting

Outcomes and Outputs:

  • Develop a formal curriculum for conducting preschool obesity-related PCOR
  • Strengthen the FPP-CAB by increasing membership and capacity for conducting preschool obesity-related PCOR
  • Formal report of PCOR solutions for FPP-CAB health priorities
  • Create a formal infrastructure (CORN) to promote preschool obesity-related PCOR

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: HealthLink specialists will identify caregivers with overweight or obese preschoolers, Detroit-based pediatricians, and additional community stakeholders invested in preschooler health and well-being to serve in the FPP-CAB. FPP-CAB members will be trained in the adapted capacity-building curriculum and Boot Camp Translation to identify PCOR solutions to identified health priorities. Through CORN, FPP-CAB members will partner with researchers on efforts to transform care that may ultimately improve obesity-related health equity in early childhood.

Project Collaborators: Office of Community Engaged Research (Wayne State University), Greater Detroit Area Health Council, Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute, Brilliant Detroit, MOTION Coalition.

Project Information

Elizabeth Towner, PhD, MS
Wayne State University

Key Dates

July 2021


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: April 8, 2024