Wayne State University

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WSU Partnership Benefits University Students and Southeast Michigan Youth

May 11, 2016
WSU College of Pharmacy students led interactive activities during "Medication Generation: Just Say Know," a peer-to-peer educational program aimed at helping Detroit adoescents understand risks associated with prescription drug abuse.

Our unwavering commitment to community engagement is a point of pride for Wayne State University.  While we partner with a wide variety of organizations hailing from across the region, one of our priorities has always been to serve Southeast Michigan’s youth. An example of one of these long time community based partners is The Youth Connection (TYC), an organization that works to connect local young people to a brighter future. TYC has received tremendous support from the WSU Student Government who partnered to host a 2009 Detroit City Council Candidate Forum, with a focus on “Education & Community”. Furthermore, TYC has hosted WSU interns from our Department of Nutrition and Food Science for the last four years. The University has also simulated several mock disasters on campus to allow TYC youth who have become Teen CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) certified to practice their newly acquired skills. 

A tremendous bonus for any community based organization is the ability to document their work from a research perspective.  A Wayne State University MPH School of Medicine student recently interned with TYC and presented a poster presentation on the effectiveness of The Youth Connection’s I2D2 (I2 – increase fruits and vegetables, increase physical activity; D2 – decrease sugary drinks, decrease screen time) Food and Nutrition program.  The I2D2 initiative is a six week creative and interactive program offered throughout Wayne County to help address obesity.

In addition to the work of our School of Medicine students, Wayne State University’s Eugene Applebaum School of Pharmacy has provided tremendous support to The Youth Connection and the Love Detroit Prevention Coalition through the Generation Rx Truth Fairy Project. Pharmacy students hosted focus groups to provide peer to peer engagement with TYC and Detroit youth on the dangers of the non-medical use of prescription drugs. They also designed and implemented “Just Say Know”, a peer to peer education forum. This engagement resulted in a poster presentation documenting increased knowledge and engagement. Our own Dr. Brittany Stewart and WSU alumna and CEO of The Youth Connection, Dr. Grenae Dudley, presented this project and the importance of partnership at a recent statewide conference. School of Pharmacy students dressed up as the “Truth Fairies” to provide truth and facts about the nonmedical use of prescription drugs to over 2,500 Detroit youth and families at The Youth Connection’s After School - Back to School - Off to College Fair.

Moving forward, The Youth Connection and the Love Detroit Prevention Coalition will be working with Wayne State University’s School of Nursing to help facilitate the use of the SBIRT (a screening tool for substance use disorders). WSU’s community partnerships continue to provide our students with meaningful service learning experiences while creating positive and sustainable impact locally and throughout the region. 


Division of Government and Community Affairs
4092 Faculty Administration Building, 656 W. Kirby • Detroit, MI 48202
Tel: (313) 577-5284