A partnership between MSU College of Human Medicine and MSU Extension serving as a national model of how Cooperative Extension can collaborate with medical schools and faculty to increase health research and strengthen primary care delivery to patients.

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.


  • Sep 14

    Tai Chi for Diabetes Online

    September 14, 2021 – November 16, 2021 Eastern Time Online

    Join us for an opportunity to develop tai chi skills from the comfort of your home.

  • Sep 23

    Online Chronic Pain Path Carter Hebert

    September 23, 2021 – October 14, 2021 Eastern Time Online

    Chronic Pain PATH is a 6-week, self-management online workshop designed for people living with chronic pain. Family members, friends, and caregivers are also encouraged to attend the workshop.

  • Oct 11

    ONLINE Standing/Seated Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention

    October 11, 2021 – December 15, 2021 Online

    If you are worried about falling, interested in improving balance, want to know more about becoming more flexible, or getting stronger, join us for this easy and enjoyable exercise.

  • Dec 6

    Preparing for the Stressful Holidays Using Mindfulness

    December 6, 2021 – December 20, 2021 online

    Take time for yourself with this free online programming from MSU Extension. Join us for five sessions of trying a wide variety of strategies in mindfulness, leading to stress reduction and healthier living. Make this a holiday gift to yourself.