Professor Luke Shaefer spoke with Michigan Advance about Rx Kids, a new program in Flint, Michigan, which will work to improve residents’ health by alleviating poverty in the state’s poorest city. The program, which is likely to begin in 2024, specifically focuses on maternal and infant health outcomes at a community level; every Flint resident who is pregnant will be eligible to receive direct cash payments during their pregnancy and throughout the first year of their child’s life. RxKids is a collaboration between Michigan State University and University of Michigan. Shaefer, who is the director of U-M’s Poverty Solutions, is working on the program’s launch.
“This is something where Flint becomes a leader for the nation; that’s a really powerful thing,” Shaefer said. “We’ve already spent time at the White House, at the U.S. Capitol, in Lansing, and I’ve never had a project like this where people get this happy,” Shaefer said. “I’ve been working in poverty for a long time, and I think the design of this and values imbued in it are fundamentally different than other efforts.”
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