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Research focuses on Indiana’s HIP plan and Burmese refugees.

Indianapolis, IN – Two community-focused projects have been recognized with 2020 Charles R. Bantz Chancellor’s Community Fellowship awards. The annual honor, named for former IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz, recognizes research and provides funding for community-engaged scholars, supporting the translating of their work with community partners and positively impacting people’s lives.

The 2020 Charles Bantz Community Fellowship was awarded to Co-Awardees David M. Craig, professor of religious studies and chair of the Religious Studies Department for the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, and Pamela Napier, associate professor of visual communication design with the Herron School of Art and Design.

Their project “A New HIP Public,” focuses on increasing community support for low-income Hoosiers who are eligible for the state’s Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP, a health insurance plan that expands Medicaid coverage.

The goal is for IUPUI faculty and students to work with HIP insurers and diverse congregational partners to strengthen public interest in HIP and the shared responsibility of supporting continuous health coverage for better wellness. This project will increase public awareness of HIP, help more people stay on HIP Plus, and expand community partnerships for interfaith cooperation on health.

“We are grateful for this opportunity to apply lessons learned from our 2019 partnership with two inner-city faith communities, First Baptist Church North Indianapolis and Shepherd Community Center. Together our team listened to HIP members’ experiences and their solutions for strengthening the program. Time again members praised direct personal assistance and trusted relationships with community-facing organizations as top reasons for their successful navigation of the HIP program,” Craig said.

The 2020 Charles Bantz Community Scholar award was presented to Jessica Lee, assistant professor with the IU School of Social Work at IUPUI.

Her project is entitled “Resilience and protective factors among Burmese refugees: A Strengths-based participatory action research project.”

The goal of her research is to work in partnership with Burmese refugees to examine protective factors and resilience that promote wellness and integration among refugee communities in Indianapolis. Information gained will be shared with the Burmese community and will boost ongoing efforts at IUPUI to participate in community-engaged work with community partners.

“I am thankful for this opportunity to partner with the Burmese American Community Institute (BACI) to explore wellness and resilience factors among the Burmese refugee community through participatory action research. Burmese refugees in Indianapolis demonstrate a strong social support system and positive outcomes, such as educational attainment and vocational success. This project recognizes these positive aspects and aims to promote a strengths-based, survivor-centered understanding of refugee health and integration,” Lee said.

For additional information about the award and winners, please contact Teresa Bennett, Assistant Vice Chancellor of the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement, at tkbennet@iupui.edu.

About the awards: The Charles R. Bantz Chancellor’s Community Fellowship and Community Scholar awards ensure his legacy lives on by providing funding for community-engaged scholars each year. The importance of community-engaged translational work is core to the schools of IUPUI. The awards are granted annually for up to one of each of the following: an IUPUI faculty member, IUPUI student, and/or leader of a community organization working to address a challenge, opportunity, or problem confronting a local, not-for-profit organization in Indianapolis.  Recipients are supported in the translating of their work with community partners, thus positively impacting people’s lives.

Contact: Teresa Bennett, Assistant Vice Chancellor, IUPUI Office of Community Engagement, tkbennet@iupui.edu

 

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