The Health Awareness Center (HAC) was formulated and established in 1990, as an integral part of the FOH concept. The initial mandate of the HAC was to address the health and human service needs of the residents of the nearby community; but over the years, these services have expanded to include the Greater Flint community as a whole. The center was initially maintained and sustained through the Community Based Public Health Initiative funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
The mission of the Health Awareness Center is:
- to foster and embrace the concept of “holistic” health and the therapeutic effect upon the community
- to provided prevention services through well-coordinated community activities and dissemination of educational materials which are specific to population groups and are age appropriate
- to develop and implement programs to build character and develop personal growth
- to prevent community violence,
- to provide health outreach, and
- to provide early intervention services directly focused on the betterment of youth and their families.
- to administer Freedom School, currently an after school historical and cultural educational program that helps youth to understand their origins , gain a better understanding of self and avoid risky behaviors.
Since 1991, HAC has been the leader in numerous community initiatives that have been focused on providing services to the underserved population of the Greater Flint community. Through persistence, HAC has developed working relationships with community organizations, faith-based organizations, health and academic organizations such as the Genesee County Health Department, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, both the Flint and Ann Arbor campuses; and through these relationships, HAC has been able to share resources, identify and address community priorities.
HAC was a founding member of the Community Board of the CDC-funded Prevention Research Center (PRC) of Michigan. This board was also inclusive of hospitals, insurers, UAW and local foundations. The HAC has been one of the main voices leading the entire country in understanding the importance of community-based participatory models for research collaborations (Caldwell, C., Zimmerman, M.,Isichei, P., 2001). The PRC has and is conducting several major projects in Genesee County through the CDC-funded Youth Violence Prevention Center (YVPC). HAC is a steering committee member of the YVPC. In addition, teens from involved at the HAC serve on the Genesee County Teen Jury. HAC is currently a member of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, MICHR Community Engagement Coordinating Council; the Ad Hoc Faculty Search Committee of the Michigan State University-Flint Research Center as well as HAC is involved in numerous collaborations with grass-root organizations, churches and other professional agencies including the REACH collaboration.