May 31, 2024

Zochowski Wins Michigan Health Equity Challenge

Melissa Zochowski, a HILS PhD Candidate, is one of the two winners of the Michigan Health Equity Challenge

From a posting on the Michigan Health Equity Challenge website:

Two University of Michigan graduate student proposals were each awarded $50,000 to address health inequity through the Michigan Health Equity Challenge.

Over the course of eight weeks, the finalists of the Challenge partnered with a community-based organization (CBO) to develop a proposal combating a pressing health equity concern in Southeast Michigan. The Challenge was funded by a $100,000 grant from The MolinaCares Accord (“MolinaCares”) and Molina Healthcare of Michigan, which provided these selected students with resources and mentorship support in the development of innovative solutions.

One was Melissa Zochowski, a HILS PhD Candidate. See her video at this site.

Melissa Zochowski’s project proposes a two-phase implementation of neurodiversity-affirming reproductive healthcare delivery practices to improve outcomes for neurodivergent individuals and increase provider knowledge of their unique clinical encounter needs. Neurodivergent individuals may have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), sensory challenges and difficulties, or other developmental and/or intellectual disabilities. Phase 1, "Identify and Understand," aims to identify neurodivergent patients and collect patient-reported data on their unique healthcare needs, ensuring every encounter is tailored for success. Phase 2, "Inform and Implement," focuses on leveraging insights from Phase 1 to educate and train healthcare providers on neurodiversity, directly integrate patient feedback into care practices, and engage in comprehensive analysis and interventions to improve clinical care delivery long-term. Melissa has partnered with Planned Parenthood of Michigan to implement this project.