MSUToday
Published: Jan. 24, 2016

2016 Community Engagement Scholarship Award

Adesuwa Olomu
College of Human Medicine

Ingham County Health Department

The Community Engagement Scholarship Award honors Adesuwa Olomu, professor of medicine, MSU, and the Ingham County Health Department, represented by Linda S. Vail, health officer, in their partnership efforts to bridge the disparity gap in cardiovascular care for minority and low-income populations in the Lansing community. The partnership is
 an exemplary model of university–community collaboration designed to translate research into practice in cardiovascular care for vulnerable populations, with the goal of decreasing the burden of cardiovascular disease and death.

The innovative Office Guidelines Applied to Practice Program was designed to activate and engage patients and improve prevention of cardiovascular disease for vulnerable populations in outpatient settings through the use of appropriate evidence-based medications and lifestyle changes. With funding from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the partnership has enrolled more than 800 patients in the Office-GAP program from 2010 to September 2015); additionally, more than 595 patients have attended the educational group visits and follow-up appointments with their health care providers.

The partnership has developed and tested the Office-GAP program in three cohorts through a pretest–posttest quasi-experimental design over six months, followed by a 12-month follow-up. The Office-GAP Program integrates health literacy, communication skills education for patients and physicians, decision support tools, and shared decision making into routine care.

The Office-GAP Program led to improved evidence-based medication usage, improved blood pressure control, and increased patient–provider shared decision making, patient satisfaction with their provider, and confidence in the health care decisions made. The program has provided an opportunity for students, resident physicians, and faculty engagement in health disparity studies.

This partnership between MSU and the Ingham County Health Department expresses perfectly the goal and mission of the Department of Medicine “to attain research excellence for the purpose of improving health for all” and the mission of Michigan State University of “advancing outreach, engagement, and economic development activities that are innovative, research-driven, and lead to a better quality of life for individuals and communities, at home and around the world.”

Olomu is a fellow of the American College
 of Physicians. She was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society in 2007 and was awarded the College of Human Medicine Outstanding Clinician Award in 2013. She is included in the ‘Best Doctors in America’ database. Olomu’s research has been continually funded since 2000 from such organizations as the AHRQ, the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, the BCBSMF, and the National Human Genome Institute. Her peer- reviewed articles have been published in such journals as the ‘International Journal for Quality in Health Care,’ ‘BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making,’ ‘Journal of Clinical Hypertension,’ and ‘Journal of General Internet Medicine.’

Vail is a dedicated and untiring advocate and community leader focused on improving health care and health care access for vulnerable populations. She is a member of the National Association of County and City Health Officials’ Health Equity and Social Justice Advisory Committee, a board member and past president for the Michigan Association for Local Public Health, and is a community instructor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. She is a leader in the work of health equity and social justice and had engaged in critical work in local communities. Vail has worked tirelessly to close the gap on disparities in community health outcomes.