First 2 researchers named for MSU-CHM posts in Flint

Clinical psychologist, urban geographer

Two down, five to go. A special committee is still searching nationwide for top researchers to join the Flint Campus of Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, which recently moved into the old Flint Journal building, at 200 E. First St. in downtown Flint. But it has named the first two of the seven it plans to hire, thanks to a $9 million endowmnet from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Unique in the nation, the committee developed its search criteria after talking with people from 82 community groups in Flint. The community focus is part of the mission of the MSU CHM's School of Public Health, which is moving its home base to Flint, too. The newcomers are expected to be accomplished researches who can bring funded projects to focus on - and hopefully improve - the many public health issues in Flint.

So who are the first two? 


Jennifer Johnson PhDClinical Psychologist
Jennifer Johnson PhD, age 41

Associate Professor
Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
Brown University, Providence, RI
(formerly of Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Research areas:

HIV prevention, substance use and depression, evidence-based practices in community settings, effects of relationships on mental health, partner violence, perinatal depression, social support, substance use treatment, women prisoners, treatment for other mental health disorders

Currently funded projects:

  • AA linkage for alcohol-abusing women leaving jail. $2.5 million, National Institutes of Health/ National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, through July 30, 2018. Tests the effectiveness of an Alcoholics Anonymous linkage intervention on alcohol use, AA attendance, and HIV sex risk among women with alcohol use disorders leaving jail.
  • Effectiveness of psychosocial treatment for inpatients with psychosis. $667,000, NIH/National Institute of Mental Health, through Sept. 30, 2016. Adapts an empirically supported psychotherapy for acute psychosis to be delivered in a group format by bachelor-level providers to improve implementability and promote uptake in routine inpatient settings.

    Recent publications:

    • Gender, social support, and distress in criminal justice involved adolescents. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology (2014). In press.
    • Effects of major depression on crack use and arrests among women in drug court (2011). Addiction. 106(7):1279-1286.
    • Effectiveness of a pscychoeducational parenting group on child, parent, and family behavior: A pilot study in a family practice clinic with an underserved population (2010). Families, Systems and Health. 28(3):224-235.

    RIchard Sadler PhDUrban Geographer
    Richard Sadler PhD, age 28

    Post-doctoral fellow, research associate, and geographic information science analyst
    Human Environments Analysis Laboratory, Social Science Centre
    The University of Western Ontario

    (formerly of Burton, Michigan)

    Interest areas:

    Access to healthy food, urban agriculture, local food networks and local food policy councils, deindustrialization, racial segregation/ inequality, residential abandonment, urban planning, economic development, and geographic information science.

    Recent publications:

    • Stakeholder and policy-maker perception of key issues in food systems planning and policy-making (2014). Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. 9(1):1-15. DOI: 10.1080/19320248.2013.845867
    • Local food networks as catalysts for food policy change to improve health and build the economy (2014). Local Environment. Published online, p1-19. DOI: 10.1080.13549839.2014.894965
    • An economic impact comparative analysis of farmers' markets in Michigan and Ontario (2013). Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. 3:61-81. http://dx.doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2013.033.009
    • Geographic issues in evaluating the food system and effective interventions for health and economy (2013). University of Western Ontario - Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. Paper 1183. http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/1183