School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Detroit News names Dr. John Flack a Michiganian of the Year

John Flack, M.D., M.P.H.

John Flack, M.D., M.P.H.

Over the past 31 years The Detroit News has been recognizing people whose work has helped make life better for others or who have brought special recognition to our state as Michiganians of the Year.

This year, John M. Flack, M.D., M.P.H., of the Wayne State University Physician Group, will have his name added to the impressive list of winners.

Dr. Flack, professor of medicine and physiology and Chairman of the Wayne State University School of Medicine Department of Internal Medicine, was informed of his selection in a letter from the paper’s editor and publisher that stated, “This honor, recognizing your contributions to the community, is one that you share this year with nine other men and women in the 2009 class of Michiganians. You were chosen from a long list of deserving nominees recommended to The News by readers and members of our staff.”

In part, Dr. Flack is being recognized for his work through Wayne State’s Center for Urban and African American Health, which was established through a grant he received from the National Institutes of Health and for which he serves as principal investigator.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” Dr. Flack said. “I believe this award recognizes the driving force behind my research, clinical and administrative activities. That is, to understand racial/ethnic cardiovascular and overall health disparities and then to make every effort to eliminate or minimize the impact of these disparities through improved medical decision-making, as well as by making our systems of care more accessible, user friendly and of measurably higher quality.”

The CUAAH houses several research projects thematically linked through obesity, diet and other lifestyle factors, including physical activity, and obesity-related cardiovascular disease and cancer.

In addition to focusing on the mechanisms that may cause these conditions, such as environment, lifestyle, physiology and genetics, the CUAAH seeks to identify preventive strategies and therapies that might alleviate the disproportionate burden of disease among African-Americans.

“I know that a lot of people who may have more recognizable names have been honored with this award over the years, but John Flack epitomizes what it means to make life better for others,” said Valerie Parisi, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., interim dean of the School of Medicine. “He is very deserving of this recognition and we are proud of him.”

Dr. Flack is an internationally renowned specialist in clinical hypertension and also serves as specialist in chief for internal medicine at the Detroit Medical Center.

He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Langston University and was an Alpha Omega Alpha graduate of the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine. He also completed an internal medicine residency and served as chief medical resident at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Dr. Flack received a master’s of public health in epidemiology and completed a National Institutes of Health fellowship in cardiovascular epidemiology at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Dr. Flack will be recognized in a special section of The Detroit News this spring and at a dinner in May.

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