About the Michigan State University Model of Health Extension

Current health care policy emphasizes the need for communities and institutions to work together to address the nation’s complex health problems. Health extension is a national movement to find strategies that link patients of clinical and primary care practices with community resources, such as education, to improve their health outcomes. Cooperative Extension offers health care professionals a way to connect patients to community health resources.

The MSU Model of Health Extension is an innovative concept proposed by Jeff Dwyer, director of MSU Extension and former MSU College of Human Medicine senior associate dean for innovation and community partnerships. Two years before his role as Extension director, Dwyer convened a team of MSU Extension educators who had expertise in effective local programming as well as the translation of health research to align strategically with the MSU College of Human Medicine’s mission and statewide presence. Today that visionary model has resulted in researchers and MSU Extension professionals making more than 200 connections with scientists and building partnerships with over 800 community organization representatives who are seeking to improve the public health of Michigan residents.

“The Michigan State University Model of Health Extension creates a framework for partnerships that enhance health care delivery and education throughout the state,” said Dwyer. “Cooperative Extension staff members are uniquely equipped to make these connections because they have built trust, experience and history in the communities where they work, live and raise their families.”

Four strategies of the MSU Model of Health Extension were recently published in Academic Medicine, the official journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. The MSU Model of Health Extension is a blueprint that can be adopted by Cooperative Extension throughout the United States to establish a nationwide health extension framework.

What is MSU Extension?

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension helps people improve their lives by bringing the vast knowledge resources of MSU directly to individuals, communities and businesses. With a presence in every Michigan county, Extension faculty and staff members provide tools to live and work better. From a personal meeting to information online, MSU Extension educators work every day to provide the most current information when people need it to ensure success – in the workplace, at home and in the community.

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