Healthy Environments Partnership (HEP)


This partnership focuses on understanding and promoting heart health in Detroit neighborhoods. HEP examines and develops interventions to address aspects of the social and physical environment that contribute to racial and socioeconomic disparities in cardiovascular disease.

Communities Involved 

African-American, Hispanic and white residents living in eastside, southwest and northwest Detroit. 


  • Brightmoor Community Center
  • Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation
  • Warren-Conner Development Coalition
  • Friends of Parkside
  • Henry Ford Health System/AIMHI
  • Institute for Population Health
  • Community members at-large
  • University of Michigan School of Public Health and A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning 

Current Projects

  • Community Approaches to Cardiovascular Health – Dissemination (CATCH- D) 2013-2016 This project aims to integrate and share results from the Walk Your Heart to Health intervention. HEP will work with community-based and faith-based and health services organizations in Detroit to expand the walking group initiative and enhance neighborhood environments to promote heart health. 

 Past Projects

  • Community Approaches to Cardiovascular Health –Pathways to Heart Health (CATCH-PATH) 2008-2013 This project involves implementation and evaluation of a multilevel CBPR intervention to increase physical activity in Detroit. The multilevel intervention includes walking groups to promote active living, and leadership development, community action, and policy level change to enhance neighborhood environments that support and sustain active living
  • Comparative Effectiveness Research for Eliminating Disparities (CERED) 2010-2012  This project compares the effectiveness of three interventions in maintaining increases in physical activity and reduction in cardiovascular risk among residents of low-to-moderate income, predominantly African American and Latino communities, to reduce obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular health disparities.
  • Lean & Green in Motown (LGM) 2005-2010  LGM aims to better understand relationships between the built environment, physical activity and dietary practices, and to assess the impact of multilevel interventions (e.g., individual and environmental change) to promote physical activity and healthy diets.
  • Social and Physical Environments and Cardiovascular Health Disparities (SPEHD) 2000-2005  This project aimed to documented cardiovasucalr risk factors among residents of Detroit neighborhoods and better understand their relationships to race, ethnicity, and socioeconocic status; examine the relationship between neighborhood environments (e.g. access to food, levels of air pollutants) and cardiovascular risk; and to investigate potential factors that may reduce the effects of neighborhood characteristics on cardiovascular risk.