2014 Progress Report: Community Outreach and Translation Core

EPA Grant Number: R834513C004
Subproject: this is subproject number 004 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R834513
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas - UC Berkeley School of Public Health: CHAMACOS Office, Berkeley, CA
Center Director: Eskenazi, Brenda
Title: Community Outreach and Translation Core
Investigators: Eskenazi, Brenda , Rosas, Lisa Goldman , Salvatore, Alicia L. , Bradman, Asa , Barlow, Janice , Minkler, Meredith
Institution: University of California - Berkeley , Stanford University , ZERO Breast Cancer
Current Institution: University of California - Berkeley , Stanford University , University of Oklahoma , ZERO Breast Cancer
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: August 1, 2009 through July 31, 2014 (Extended to July 31, 2016)
Project Period Covered by this Report: June 1, 2013 through May 31,2014
RFA: Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers (with NIEHS) (2009) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Children's Health , Health


The COTC Core enables Center scientists and community partners to communicate study findings in a culturally appropriate manner, to raise awareness of children’'s environmental health within and beyond the Salinas Valley, and to support policies that will improve the health of low-income Latino residents locally in Monterey County and throughout the state and nation.

Progress Summary:

1. To disseminate Center research findings to study participants, the Salinas Valley community, and other stakeholders.

Newsletter: In November, we disseminated the 2013 CHAMACOS newsletter, La Semilla, to participants 2 weeks before the annual Participant Community Forum. The newsletter is in Spanish and English and provides a means for parents and children to discuss the newsletter content. (Parents mostly speak Spanish and children who mostly speak English.) The newsletter is available on our website (http://cerch.org/wp-content/uploads/La-Semilla_2013_12.01.13-1-8.pdf).

This issue of La Semilla featured a letter from Center Director Dr. Eskenazi, information on recent research findings, word games for children, and an announcement about upcoming participant forums. The research findings highlighted included three papers that were to be published soon: our organic diet intervention study, studies linking pesticides to asthma symptoms, and exposure pathways of manganese. Newsletter content is written to be accessible to low-literacy readers. Each article summarized the study conclusions and the relevance of the study to residents of the Salinas Valley. Because each of the three studies were related to pesticides, we also presented simple information on methods to reduce pesticide exposure: 1) washing fruits and vegetables prior to eating them, 2) washing hands regularly, and 3) changing out of farm work clothes and shoes before entering their home.

The final section of the newsletter——word games to engage children——included a crossword puzzle and a word scramble, both which used words found throughout the newsletter. In order to complete the puzzle, one would have to read through the content of the newsletter. As an incentive, a prize was provided to children who brought a completed crossword puzzle and word scramble to the forums. Several children brought the completed versions of the crossword puzzle to the community forums.

The La Semilla Newsletter also included an announcement for the annual CHAMACOS community forums, including information about receiving individual study results. We also included an example of our returning results forms, with a detailed explanation of each element in the report. This announcement was the first part of a comprehensive plan to notify participants about their access to study results, which we returned during the community forum.

Participant Community Forum: At the end of each year, we hold an event for CHAMACOS participants to build community and share the latest research findings. The event provides an opportunity to show our appreciation to participants for their involvement, and to give an update on study findings in a manner that is engaging, informative, and useful. In past years, we have held one forum in Salinas due to resource restrictions. This year, through effective planning, we added a second forum in the city of Greenfield, which provided an opportunity to reach participants who live in the southern part of Monterey County. At both forums we provided food, a raffle, a presentation for adults on research findings, and activities for children. The first forum took place on Saturday, December 7, 2014 in Greenfield was attended by 117 adults and 110 children. The Salinas forum took place a week later and was attended by 136 adults and 77 children.

This year, we also returned individual level results to participant mothers who wanted to know their own and their children’'s results for chemical measurements. At the presentation, we made it clear to participant mothers that receiving these reports was completely voluntary. Participant mothers who chose to learn their results received a packet that included their own and their children’'s levels of DDT/DDE, PBDEs, PCBs, and BPA in comparison with all CHAMACOS participants and a sample from NHANES, and background information on each chemical. To ensure that participants understood the information in their packets, we trained a group of 20 CHAMACOS staff to become “Returning Results” counselors. At the forum, each participant mother had the chance to sit down with a counselor to go through the report that she received. Senior scientific investigators also were available to answer questions. Participating mothers asked questions about how to understand their chemical level results, what the results meant, and how to prevent exposure to these chemicals. Participating mothers had the option of having their children or other family members sit with them as they learned about chemical levels. Forty-two participant mothers at the Greenfield forum and 47 at the Salinas forum requested individual level results.

A major contributor to the success of these forums was the support provided by CHAMACOS staff and members of the CHAMACOS Youth Community Council (YCC). Staff and YCC members helped with several tasks at the event including: registering participants, serving food, presenting information, providing “Chemical Levels” counseling, translating, leading activities, and running the raffle. We had 20 CHAMACOS staff and students from Berkeley, 7 CHAMACOS staff from Salinas, and 12 YCC members participate in the two forums.

Youth Community Forum: This year, we conducted two Youth Community Forums (YCFs) for participant children of the CHAMACOS study. The first YCF was held at the two community forums; 65 children participated at the Salinas forum and 35 children participated in the Greenfield forum. The activities were led by Daniel Madrigal, CHAMACOS Community Outreach Coordinator, and members of the CHAMACOS Youth Community Council. The YCFs started with an icebreaker to create a comfortable social environment amongst participating children. Two subsequent activities were conducted in small groups of 5-10 children; each of these small groups was led by a YCC member. The first of the environmental health themed activities was a “trivia game” where each small group of children would use the current issue of La Semilla to answer questions related to environmental health. This activity encouraged children to discuss the content and findings from the La Semilla newsletter. The second activity was a modified game of Pictionary, where one child would draw a word related to environmental health and act it out, while the rest of the group tried to guess what the word was. Children were very engaged during the icebreaker and the small group activities, with both of the latter activities proving entertaining methods to introduce basic environmental health themes.

The second YCF was a field trip to California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) on May 5, 2014. The purpose of the trip was to expose CHAMACOS children to science and educational opportunities available at a local university. The CHAMACOS children are entering high school, and this is a critical time where they begin to make choices about their life trajectory. In order to be accepted into a college or university they need to begin to dedicate a significant effort to their academic performance and extracurricular activities starting at the beginning of high school.

We hired a charter bus to drive 25 CHAMACOS participant children from the Salinas Valley to CSUMB. At CSUMB, CHAMACOS children participated in several activities to learn about college life and scientific research. The activities were facilitated and designed by two undergraduate students who are members of the CSUMB Under Represented Opportunities Program. In addition to leading the activities, these two students shared the paths they took and barriers they had to overcome before arriving at CSUMB. Activities at CSUMB included: a tour of the library, sitting in on a lecture for the class “Introduction to Biology,” visits to scientific labs, lunch in a campus cafeteria and a scavenger hunt of points of interest on campus. The field trip’ activities were intended to introduce the university to the children, inform them about interesting opportunities in the sciences, and encourage them to work hard to take the steps needed to gain acceptance into a university like CSUMB.

Electronic Newsletter: We sent out two e-newsletters in 2013 to more than 900 subscribers. The first informed subscribers about a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives on the fumigant methyl bromide and birth outcomes. This publication received attention from local news media, and we created a simple factsheet to help community members and other stakeholder understand the methods and findings from the study. Following the paper’'s publication of the study, a critique of the study was produced by the consultant group Exponent. We included both the critique and our response in the e-newsletter. We also used this issue of the newsletter to invite subscribers to follow our new Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/cerchberkeley Exit).

The second e-newsletter was sent out before the winter holidays to publically share our appreciation of the many research participants and collaborators who are essential to the success of our projects.

Dissemination to Larger Community and Targeted Groups: We continued our efforts to share Center research findings with the Salinas Valley community through targeted meetings with community groups and key stakeholders, participation in community events, and media interviews about our work. Nearly 58 meetings with a wide range of groups were conducted, most of them in the Salinas Valley, to discuss recent Center findings and other environmental health issues. Center staff also participated in several local health-related events such as health fairs and town hall meetings to discuss the Center'’s research. Through these efforts we made contact with 702 men, 1,372 women, and 903 children from May 1, 2013 to February 28, 2014. In November 2013, we presented the latest scientific findings to our Community Advisory Board, which includes representatives from the health, agriculture, and farmworker communities.

Dissemination to the Scientific Community: A list of pertinent scientific publications is listed for each Core in its respective progress report, along with a list of presentations at professional and scientific meetings. We also have presented our findings at other local meetings and universities.

Science Day: On February 26, we conducted a webinar presentation on recent study findings to CHAMACOS study staff. Staff members from the Berkeley office, Salinas office, and laboratory were in attendance. At this meeting we solicited feedback from staff on the future direction of the study.

Website: On our website, www.cerch.org, we have developed an online resource center where specific audience groups can access information on environmental health hazards, and how they can protect themselves. These audiences include adults, families, parents of young children, teens, community groups, and health professionals. As new resources are developed by our center, they are posted to the ORC to facilitate rapid dissemination to these audience groups. In 2013, www.cerch.org had 17,642 unduplicated visitors. To expand our online outreach efforts, we also started a CERCH Facebook page where interested individuals can learn about breaking news related to the Center. The CERCH Facebook page is available at www.facebook.com/cerchberkeley.

2. To increase awareness about children’'s environmental health among low-income Latino communities, clinicians, and service providers through widespread dissemination of innovative outreach and educational programs.

Outreach to Pregnant Women: This year, we have developed a “How-to” Guide for providers as part of the Prenatal Environmental Health Kiosk for providers. The guide is a one-page document that explains the benefits of the Prenatal Kiosk, and how to access this resource from our website. The “How-to” Guide also is available on our website (http://cerch.org/wp-content/uploads/Kiosk-Flyer-3.5.13.pdf).

To disseminate the Prenatal Kiosk throughout California, we packaged the Prenatal Kiosk into an easy-to-use bundle. The bundle contains software for the PC version of the kiosk, the Mac version of the kiosk, the pdfs for the “How-to” Guide, and pdfs for the colorful and popular kiosk tri-fold brochures on asthma, air pollution, pesticides, carbon monoxide, and sun exposure. The bundle was sent out to 60 coordinators of the Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program from each local health jurisdiction in California. This program provides prenatal services to pregnant women in each local health jurisdiction throughout California. Several coordinators responded that they were interested in using the resource.

Outreach to Childcare Providers: We continue to provide environmental quality in child care settings in the Salinas Valley. We also have expanded our reach by developing new resources and delivering trainings throughout California. We have been contracted to provide two sets of trainings to child care workers and school staff, including nurses and administrators in Imperial Valley, CA (March 2013) and Fresno, CA (March 2014). These trainings were conducted with the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit at UCSF and were funded by EPA Region 9.

We also have developed a new resource for childcare providers to bring attention to hazardous cleaning products and provide accessible alternatives. The Green Cleaning Toolkit includes posters, handouts, factsheets and a PowerPoint presentation to help child care providers maintain a toxic-free environment. These resources include information on cleaning products to avoid and safe alternatives. The toolkit was disseminated at eight trainings throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The toolkit also has been shared with regional and national organizations that have an interest in maintaining healthy environments in schools and child care settings. The Green Cleaning Toolkit is available online at www.cerch.org/greencleaningtoolkit.

Recently, we also have been approved to develop an Integrated Pest Management course for pest control companies serving childcare centers by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. The first pilot of this course was presented on May 21, 2014.

Outreach to Social Service Organizations: Center staff continues to provide presentations to community groups in Monterey County on the following topics: Preventing Pesticide Exposure, CHAMACOS Findings Overview, Healthy Homes, Heat Illness Prevention, and Environmental Quality in Early Childcare Environments. Through these trainings and presentations, we have reached 2,977 individuals in the Salinas Valley.

Outreach to Farmworkers: We continue to maintain the Farmworker Council and met with this group in November 2013 to discuss outreach strategies, and facilitate farmworker input into Center research and health promotion activities. We send the Farmworker Council Spanish translations of our research summaries, just as we share these summaries with the Community Advisory Board. Additionally, many of the participants at our other presentations in the Salinas Valley are farmworkers.

Outreach to Growers and the Agricultural Industry: We continue to have a good working relationship with our Agricultural Council, sharing study summaries and abstracts before research articles are released. We also have made ourselves available to talk in-person or by phone with Agricultural Council members if they have questions related to new publications. We held an in-person meeting with members of the Agricultural Council in February 2014 to share and discuss the latest findings from our study.

3. To build the capacity of Salinas Valley youth to promote healthy environmental policies in their community.

We have maintained and expanded the CHAMACOS Youth Community Council (YCC), whose goal it is to build youth capacity to promote healthy environmental policies in Salinas. The YCC now consists of 15 youth from Salinas, CA, and we continue to meet with them twice per month for 2.5 hour sessions. The youth now are working on two main projects: (1) sharing the findings and recommendations from their study of the walking environment in Salinas; and (2) completing the HERMOSA study, a project where youth have taken a lead in investigating endocrine disrupting chemicals found in personal care products used by adolescent Latinas.

For the walkability project, the YCC created a report based on a community walkability survey they conducted with 271 adult and child residents from the city of Salinas. The report describes major findings from the survey along with recommendations on how to make Salinas a more walkable city. The report can be accessed at http://cerch.org/wp-content/uploads/YCC-Walkability-Report-English-FINAL.pdf. On March 28th, four leaders from the YCC presented the report to local County Supervisor Jane Parker, explaining the survey, the findings, and recommendations. The report was presented to this supervisor because she had been involved in the previous survey of walkability report that had taken place in 2004. The youth facilitated the meeting themselves and gained confidence by presenting a well-prepared presentation for a community leader. Supervisor Parker thanked the youth for their work and provided several suggestions on actions the YCC could take to enact their recommendations. One recommendation was to bring attention to a smartphone application that allows local residents to easily report blight in the city.

The HERMOSA study, funded by the California Breast Cancer Research Program, is a community-based multi-year project examining endocrine disruptor chemical exposures from personal care products to Latina teenagers. This project builds on previous efforts of the YCC. In the Summer of 2013, we completed the intervention phase of the HERMOSA study, which was to test the effectiveness of using low-chemical personal care products over a 3-day period to reduce exposure to common endocrine disruptors. In February 2014, we received laboratory results from the study and began to analyze the data with the youth. We also have started to prepare manuscripts with leaders from the YCC to publish findings from the HERMOSA study.

On March 17, 2014, we brought YCC members on a field trip to the California Department of Public Health laboratory where the HERMOSA study samples were analyzed for endocrine disruptors. Scientists from the lab gave presentations on mass spectrometry, the California Bio-monitoring Program, and environmental regulation in California. The YCC also had the chance to see the lab machines that processed samples for the HERMOSA study. In the trip, YCC members also visited the CERCH Berkeley office and had the chance to meet with a former YCC member who now is an undergraduate in public health at UC Berkeley and an assistant with CERCH.

In May and June, we focused the efforts of the YCC on the HERMOSA study’'s educational component. The YCC created educational materials for Latina teens to teach them how to avoid personal care products with endocrine disrupting chemicals. These materials were made available at community events and at the HERMOSA study webpage (www.cerch.org/hermosastudy). The YCC currently is involved in planning a community forum for HERMOSA participants where YCC members will lead a presentation, workshop activities, and return individual results to participants. In addition to the work on the walkability report and the HERMOSA study, the YCC also is contracted by the local health department in Monterey County to teach participatory research techniques to youth in the neighboring community of Seaside, CA. YCC members trained Seaside youth on how to conduct a Photovoice project, how to conduct a community-based survey, and how to present participatory research findings in a community setting.

YCC professional staff members have written, and continue to write, letters of recommendation to promising program members as they apply to colleges and universities, including those in the University of California (UC) and California State University system. Four current members of the YCC have been accepted to schools in the UC system, and plan on attending these schools in the upcoming Fall 2014 semester.

4. To educate policy makers at the local, state, and national levels about Center research findings and children’'s environmental health priorities.

CHAMACOS research has been shared with policy makers at several levels of government. At the local level, the YCC presented their findings of the Walkability Report to staff at the local health department and Monterey County Supervisor Jane Parker.

On the regional level, Jose Camacho met with a team of officials from the EPA to talk about the success of the Train-the-Trainer program completed by our Community Outreach Program in 2012-2013. Region 9 Administrator Jared Blumenthal attended this meeting.

Our research was shared at the national level when we gave comments to the proposed changes to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS). The WPS was introduced in 1992 and was designed to protect farmworkers from pesticides. New changes in the WPS have been proposed to make the regulation more effective. We submitted comments to the EPA that included CHAMACOS research findings. Insights from exposure and health outcome studies by CHAMACOS can help EPA staff develop regulations that will prevent exposure to pesticides and protect the health of farmworkers and their families.

Project-Generated Resources

We continue to maintain and add new resources to our online resource center at www.cerch.org. The website contains general information on various CERCH studies, including CHAMACOS, as well as pages tailored to distinct audience groups.

Prenatal Kiosk “How-to” Guide: A resource for practitioners who work with pregnant women and are interested in sharing the Prenatal Environmental Health Kiosk. The “How-to” Guide is available on our website (http://cerch.org/wp-content/uploads/Kiosk-Flyer-3.5.13.pdf Exit).

Methyl Bromide Birth Outcomes Factsheet: This resource was developed to help lay members of the public easily understand the science and the findings that appeared in a publication that received substantial attention in the news media. The factsheet is available online here (http://cerch.org/cerch-scientists-response-to-epidemiologic-critique-of-gemmill-et-al-2013/ Exit).

CHAMACOS, 15 Years in the Fields Video: This video was presented at the Center's meeting in November. The video now is available for viewing on our website (http://cerch.org/chamacos-study-15-years-in-the-fields-video/ Exit).

CHAMACOS YCC, Community Walkability Survey: An overview of methods, results, and recommendations based on the survey completed by the YCC in 2013. Available online at http://cerch.org/wp-content/uploads/YCC-Walkability-Report-English-FINAL.pdf Exit

Future Activities:

All of the primary activities described above will continue in the next year. We will continue active engagement with our Youth Community Council including ongoing activities as part of the HERMOSA Study. We will continue targeted outreach to community groups, and respond to invitations for presentations. Targeted outreach will focus on farmworkers, teachers and child care providers. We will maintain ongoing contact with our Community Advisory Board and Agriculture and Farmworker Councils, and will have in-person meetings in Fall 2014. We also will continue dissemination to the scientific community, including participation in the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology meeting in August 2014.

Journal Articles on this Report : 4 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 334 publications 8 publications in selected types All 8 journal articles
Other center views: All 673 publications 146 publications in selected types All 145 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article AugsJoost B, Jerman P, Deardorff J, Harley K, Constantine NA. Factors associated with parent support for condom education and availability. Health Education & Behavior 2014;41(2):207-215. R834513 (2014)
R834513 (Final)
R834513C001 (2015)
R834513C004 (2014)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: eScholarship-Full Text-HTML
  • Abstract: Sage-Abstract
  • Other: eScholarship-Full Text-PDF
  • Journal Article Guerrero J, Madrigal DS, Minkler M. What is…?: a research ethics Jeopardy™ game to help community partners understand human subjects protections and their importance. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action 2014;8(3):405-411. R834513 (2014)
    R834513 (2015)
    R834513 (Final)
    R834513C004 (2013)
    R834513C004 (2014)
    R834513C004 (2015)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: Project Muse-Abstract
  • Other: ResearchGate-Abstract
  • Journal Article Madrigal DS, Salvatore A, Casillas G, Casillas C, Vera I, Eskenazi B, Minkler M. Health in my community: conducting and evaluating PhotoVoice as a tool to promote environmental health and leadership among Latino/a youth. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action 2014;8(3):317-329. R834513 (2014)
    R834513 (2015)
    R834513 (Final)
    R834513C004 (2013)
    R834513C004 (2014)
    R834513C004 (2015)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Associated PubMed link
  • Abstract: Project Muse-Abstract
  • Journal Article Rosas LG, Trujillo C, Camacho J, Madrigal D, Bradman A, Eskenazi B. Acceptability of health information technology aimed at environmental health education in a prenatal clinic. Patient Education and Counseling 2014;97(2):244-247. R834513 (2014)
    R834513 (2015)
    R834513 (Final)
    R834513C004 (2014)
    R834513C004 (2015)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Associated PubMed link
  • Abstract: Patient Education & Counseling-Abstract
  • Other: ScienceDirect-Abstract
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    community outreach and translation, community-based research, environmental justice, pesticides, farmworkers, exposure

    Relevant Websites:

    Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health Exit
    Environmental Quality in California Child Care Exit
    Green Cleaning Toolkit Exit

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2010
  • 2011 Progress Report
  • 2012 Progress Report
  • 2013 Progress Report
  • 2015 Progress Report
  • Final

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R834513    Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas - UC Berkeley School of Public Health: CHAMACOS Office, Berkeley, CA

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R834513C001 CHAMACOS Cohort Project: Pesticides and PBDE on Neurobehavior and Puberty
    R834513C002 Project B: Exposure Project: Mn, DDT/E and PBDE Exposure to Farmworker Children
    R834513C003 Epigenetics Project
    R834513C004 Community Outreach and Translation Core