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Feb. 24, 2016

Flint water focus of MSU forum

As the nation focuses its eyes on the city of Flint’s recovery from lead-tainted waters, MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research looks to its research experts for ways to move Flint and Michigan forward.

The Michigan State University institute will host a March 16 public policy forum across from the state Capitol to address critical questions about the sources of the Flint water issue, how the community can recover and ideas for improving statewide health, governance and infrastructure. The forum is free and open to the public.

"The lesson from Flint is clear. Governments must heed – not dismiss – the voices of outside researchers who bring fresh eyes to critical problems,” said Matt Grossmann, director of the institute.

“MSU researchers are leading the effort to understand what went wrong, bring forward solutions in Flint and improve state health, infrastructure and governance to prevent the next crisis."

Forum speakers include MSU researchers with insights into community management, utilities and pediatric health, including the doctor who publicly sounded the alarm about the health of children exposed to high levels of lead, Mona Hanna-Attisha.

Speakers include:

  • Hanna-Attisha, director of pediatric residency at Hurley Children’s Hospital in Flint and assistant professor of pediatrics at MSU College of Human Medicine. She’ll discuss MSU and Hurley’s new Pediatric Public Health Initiative dedicated to help all Flint children grow up healthy and strong.
  • Josh Sapotichne, MSU assistant professor of political science. He will present results from a Mott Foundation-funded study on the role of state government in Flint management.
  • Janice Beecher, director of the MSU Institute of Public Utilities. She’ll share a regulatory perspective and ideas for improving infrastructure planning and investment.

The forum starts at 11:30 a.m. at the Anderson House Office Building, fifth floor Mackinac Room, 124 N. Capitol Ave. in Lansing. A light luncheon will be served on a first-come basis. Seating is limited. Early reservations are encouraged by registering online or calling (517) 355-6672.

The forum is co-sponsored by IPPSR, MSU’s institute for Public Utilities and the College of Human Medicine. IPPSR specializes in public leadership training, public policy education and survey research within MSU’s College of Social Science.

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