Healthy Communities is Our Goal

Learn What We’re Doing In Inkster, Wayne, and Westland, Michigan

With funding from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (CDC DNPAO), the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan is part of a national effort to improve health, prevent chronic disease, and reduce health disparities through culturally appropriate programming. The REACH for the S.T.A.R.S. (Sustained, Transformed, & Aligned Resources and Support) initiative is a five-year project (September 2018- September 2023) concentrated in Inkster, Wayne, and Westland, MI. Through this project, we partner with community organizations and stakeholders to improve policies, systems, and environmental conditions that impact health, particularly among African Americans and Latinx populations, who experience disproportionate risk of chronic diseases and socioeconomic disparities. Interested in learning more about a specific strategy? Reach out to our REACH team!

The REACH project has four main strategies that help make it easier for people to live healthy lives where they learn, work, play, live, and pray. Within each of these strategies (Nutrition, Active Living, Breastfeeding, and Community Clinical Linkages), we are working on many activities to help change policies, systems, and environments to make long-lasting changes:

Multi Generation Family Enjoying Picnic In Park Together


  • Improving nutrition standards, policies, and environments at places like food pantries, churches, worksites, and schools (including early childhood education centers)
  • Assisting the development of a farmers’ market in Inkster
  • Developing a food policy council in Western Wayne County
  • Expanding access to and promoting food benefits programs, like SNAP, WIC, and Double Up Food Bucks
Young family having fun outdoors

Active Living:

  • Promote active modes of transportation by improving signage, assessing public transportation needs, and connecting important destinations like schools, churches, stores and parks to sidewalks, paths and trails
  • Through a partnership with the Friends of the Rouge, support the development of the Lower Rouge Water Trail and Lower Rouge Greenway.
  • Coordinate a Safe Routes to School program with the Wayne Westland School District
  • Promote active lifestyles in coordination with the Active People, Healthy Nation and Move Your Way campaigns.
mother breastfeeding her child


  • Train lay health educators to serve as breastfeeding peer mentors, and develop breastfeeding peer support groups, particularly among African American and Latinx women
  • Collaborate with worksites to improve breastfeeding policies and practices and distribute information about breastfeeding in at community locations and workplaces throughout the community
  • Create referral mechanisms to connect pregnant and new mothers with breastfeeding coalitions, resources, and Maternal Infant Health Programs
doctor with patient

Community Clinical Linkages:

  • Develop a referral network with evidence-based programs and locally available resources, such as recreation centers and food pantries.
  • Develop a referral mechanism with health systems and evidence-based health program providers
  • Train community leaders to become community health workers through the Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance
  • Conduct trainings to healthcare professionals on community-based programs and referral processes

Interested in Becoming Involved in Our Project?