Research Division


Judy Arnetz, PhD, MPH, PTThe Research Division coordinates grants and projects for the department, co-sponsors Family Medicine Research Day each spring, and provides mentoring for junior faculty. Judy Arnetz, PhD, MPH, PT, is the associate chair for Research. Several research-based initiatives are also connected to the Department of Family Medicine.


From Our 2014 Annual Report

During 2014, department faculty participated in the submission of 39 grant proposals, of which 16 were submitted with family medicine faculty as principal investigators and 23 were submitted in collaboration with other units. Of the 16 department submitted proposals, four were funded, three are pending review, and nine were not funded.

Despite reductions in federal research funding, extramural funding for the department was $1,429,835 in direct costs during the year. Faculty received extramural funding from sources including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Health Services and Resources Administration, the Michigan Department of Community Health, The Michigan Office of Services to the Aging, Boehringe Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Priority Health, the Canadian Embassy, and the DOW Foundation, as well as MSU internal funding support from Clinical Translational Science Institute, the Norman Kagan Award, and the Pearl Aldrich Award.

To better understand the interests, needs and barriers to research and scholarship among faculty, a network-wide survey was conducted in Fall 2014. Several common themes were identified both within the Department of Family Medicine and across the departments of family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics and human development. The first is a need to facilitate identification of research partners and potential co-investigators for scholarly projects. The second is a need for mentorship and support in grant proposal development. The third is a need for assistance with research design, data management, and data analysis. The associate chairs for research in the three departments are working together to implement action items to address these themes.

Additionally, a monthly meeting of division faculty and staff was created to identify immediate and long-term needs and support for scholarly activity within the department. Faculty and staff from across the department are invited to participate in-person or by phone.

A highlight of the year was the selection of Erin Sarzynski, MD, as the recipient of the Teacher-Scholar Award in the College of Human Medicine. Dr. Sarzynski was the first recipient of an award from the Sparrow/MSU Center for Innovation and Research and recently published related work in Quality in Primary Care and the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The department strategic plan defines three focal areas of research: optimal aging, health promotion/disease prevention, and primary care assessment and evaluation. Faculty, residents, and students continue scholarship through seeking funding, publishing manuscripts, and presenting on topics within these three broad domains of research.