MSU and Flint: Partnering for a healthier future

MSU’s efforts in Flint are numerous and varied, from discovering lead exposure and creating a children’s health initiative to continuing longtime medical education programs in area hospitals and fostering economic growth. Through outreach and engagement, MSU helps individuals and communities achieve their full potential. Working together with community partners, we are committed to finding lasting solutions that ensure a safer, healthier future for all members of the Flint community.


Enrolled Flint students


Spending with Flint businesses


Total economic impact in Genesee County



A Healthy Partnership: MSU and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation 

In a city like Flint, which has experienced public health crises that have eroded trust, public health efforts must give residents a seat at the table — and a voice. That’s what an expanded partnership between Michigan State University and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation sets out to do: involve residents at every step of creating solutions for a healthier future and a platform to impact change in areas they identify as a priority  

MSU Researchers Create New Health Equity Evaluation Tool

Community-based organizations, nonprofits, policymakers and local residents will benefit from the first Health Equity Report Card, or HERC, for Genesee County and the city of Flint. The online tool helps people understand the overall landscape of community health by comparing 50 health-related indicators from 26 public sources. 

Flint Registry - 2023 Annual Report 

It has been almost ten years since the Flint water crisis began in April of 2014. The Flint Registry's 2023 annual report, reflects on the work of the Registry to support recovery from the water crisis. The report includes data on the top health concerns affecting families and how the Flint Registry is improving the health of the Flint community.

Mott Foundation Invests $15M in Flint through MSU 

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation intends to grant up to $15 million over three years to Michigan State University to support the launch of Rx Kids, an innovative initiative to provide direct cash payments to mothers in Flint during pregnancy and throughout the first year of a child’s life. The program is led by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha at the MSU College of Human Medicine.

MSU's New Charles Stewart Mott Department of Public Health 

For years, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine researchers in the Division of Public Health have been working with Flint community partners to improve the health of the community, improve access to health care, reduce health disparities and advance policies and interventions that aim to eliminate structural racism in health care. 


Why Nonprofits Are Taking Over Detroit, Flint Governance

Though nonprofit philanthropies aid cities in times of need, like when natural disasters hit, their work usually ends when the crisis subsides. But that’s not the case in Detroit and FlintNew research from Michigan State University finds that nonprofits have acquired unprecedented involvement in how these two cities are governed.


MSU Partnerships a 'promising model for the nation'

Since long before the water crisis, the people of Flint have been facing obstacles to a healthy life. Now, as Flint replaces old lead water lines and improves the quality of public drinking water, MSU and its community partners are building a model of public health interventions that adds new ingredients to the mix – ingredients that promote resilience and positive early childhood development and address a broad scope of challenges such as decreased life expectancy in the community.

Extension director

MSU's presence in Flint nationally recognized

Michigan State University Extension was honored by the United States Department of Agriculture for the organization’s quick and comprehensive response to the residents of Flint affected by lead-contaminated drinking water.

“Working with a strong coalition gives us the opportunity to put science into practice. Our work in Flint is not done,” Deanna East, an MSU Extension associate director focused on health and nutrition programming, said. “We have been embedded in the Flint community long before the water emergency, and we’ll be here long after. We will continue to connect communities with evidence-based resources. That’s what Extension is all about.”

water tower

Universities continue to collaborate to ensure safe drinking water

Researchers from MSU, UM and Wayne State University are conducting studies to determine the best ways to manage the type of point-of-use water filters being used by Flint residents. Manufacturers typically recommend replacing filters after processing approximately 100 gallons. Susan Masten, professor of civil and environmental engineering at MSU, noted that the team is examining if this point-of-use replacement schedule is best for the Flint water distribution system.

flint map

Discovering elevated lead levels

A team of MSU and Hurley Children’s Hospital doctors and researchers discovered elevated lead levels and intervened on behalf of Flint’s children. The team included Mona Hanna-Attisha, Rick Sadler, Allison Schnepp and researcher Jenny LaChance. They analyzed lead levels in children five years old and younger and found the levels increased significantly after the change to the Flint River as the city’s water source.

community garden

Partnering with Flint for more than a century

Michigan State University and Flint both were founded in 1855 and the university has been working closely with the city for more than 100 years. Specifically, MSU Extension has been helping the residents of Flint to solve local problems, do their jobs better, raise healthy and safe families, build their communities and empower children for successful futures.