University of Michigan partners with MSU Extension on health funding

CHAT program offers opportunity for communities to share valuable feedback.

Michigan State University Extension staff members Ann Chastain, Karen Fifield and Bethany Prykucki are working with the University of Michigan to facilitate local community discussions as part of a study, “Deliberative Engagement of Communities in Decisions about Research Spending.” The discussions they are facilitating take place throughout Northern Michigan, although the study targets 50 communities across Michigan.

CHAT (Choosing Health All Together) is a serious game designed to be inclusive, informative and engaging. The goal is to promote deliberation and dialog about complex and value-laden health research spending decisions. CHAT was designed so community members could provide input for funding decisions, usually related to health, health care or health research.

CHAT depicts spending options as layered wedges on a pie chart. Higher levels of health care research cost more. Participants have 50 markers to spend on various options; there are not enough markers to fund all research levels. Thus, participants must set priorities for the use of limited resources. Participants do this individually, selecting options for themselves and their family as well as in a group, where they make choices for their community.

If you are 18 years of age or older and are interested in health issues, you may be eligible to participate in a research study to identify what types of health research are most important to you and your community.

There is no cost to participate and a $45 Gift Card will be provided. For more information or to sign up for all locations including but not limited to Northern Michigan, call: 1-800-257-1314, Email or text:

Northern Michigan Locations include:

March 16, 2015

  • Presque Isle District Library 181 East Erie St, Rogers City, MI 49779: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona ESD 2118 US-23, Alpena, MI 49707: 5 - 8 p.m.

March 17, 2015

  • Alcona EMS Building 2600 East M-72, Harrisville MI 48740: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Montmorency County Courthouse 12265 M-32, Atlanta, MI 49709: 5 - 8 p.m.

March 23

  • Manistee Intermediate School District 772 East Parkdale Ave., Manistee, MI 49660: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.                                          
  • Michigan Works (Garfield Village Shopping Center) 1209 S Garfield Ave, Traverse City, MI 49686: 5 - 8 p.m.

March 24

  • Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Tribal Police Department 911 Spring Street Petoskey, MI 49770: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.          
  • Cheboygan Public Library 100 S Bailey Street Cheboygan, MI 49721: 4 - 7 p.m.

March 31

  • Location to be determined: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.                          
  • Ogemaw County MSU-Extension 205 S Eighth, West Branch, MI 48661: 4 - 7 p.m.

The Michigan State University Extension Leadership and Community Engagement team offers professional development training, including volunteer board development, communicating through conflict, meeting management and facilitation skills development, and organizational strategic visioning and planning.

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