David Craig, PhD, recently completed his research on assessing the benefits and downsides of Indiana’s Medicaid expansion plan, known as HIP (Healthy Indiana Plan). HIP project partners include Rev. Dr. Ivan Douglas Hicks, First Baptist Church North Indianapolis, Andrew Green, Shepherd Community Center, and Maria Meschi and Prof. Pamela Napier, Herron School of Art and Design. The research team compiled stories from HIP members to identify successes and challenges of members navigating the program. Community partner videos and HIP study are available here.
Craig’s new community-engaged research is part of the Monon Collaborative's Community Impact Hub project, an initiative of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI). The initiative brings faith leaders and health advocates together to discuss health and wellness issues and supports in their communities. These conversations are intended to facilitate networking and to establish partnerships between community leaders, translational researchers, medical professionals, and health care systems.
Dr. Craig led a community-university research team in organizing a virtual learning community to support this community engagement during the pandemic. Reverend Shonda Nicole Gladden, CEO, Good to the SOUL (GTTS), led community recruitment and engagement, starting with a community forum in February 2020. GTTS is the community-university ambassador for the learning community. GTTS has worked to bridge the gap between the academic world and local communities. Rev. Gladden serves as Associate Pastor of Crossroads African Methodist Episcopal Church and also works as a Vibrant Faith Coach Consultant.
Rev. Gladden and Dr. Craig led a recent virtual health connector event on January 29, 2021, to address social determinants and goals to improve health in predominantly black neighborhoods. The town hall represented the work of ten Marion County congregations from different denominations. The event, with over 200 members in attendance, presented community research findings that have resulted in actionable plans with two years of funding from the Indiana University Health Values Funds for the Integration of Spirituality and Religious Dimensions in Healthcare.
David Craig, PhD, is faculty investigator for the IU Center for Bioethics, a research affiliate with the Indiana CTSI, and professor of Religious Studies at IUPUI. Dr. Craig’s research focuses on community health and health equity. To read more about his research, click here.