Central Plains Center for American Indian Health Disparities (CPC-AIHD) Revision

EPA Grant Number: NIMHD003
Title: Central Plains Center for American Indian Health Disparities (CPC-AIHD) Revision
Investigators: Daley, Christine Makosky , Greiner, K. Allen , Choi, Won S , Gajewski, Byron , Barnes, Charles , Kennedy, Kevin
Institution: University of Kansas Medical Center
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: August 1, 2011 through July 31, 2014
Project Amount: $791,461
RFA: Transdisciplinary Networks of Excellence on the Environment and Health Disparities (2012) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Justice , Human Health


American Indians (AI) suffer some of the greatest health disparities in the US. Many conditions, including asthma, obesity, and diabetes, are prevalent among AI and are influenced by the places AI live. In addition, AI have high rates of severe physical housing problems and the highest rates of smoking of any ethnic group in the US. The KUMC Central Plains Center for American Indian Health Disparities, renamed Center for American Indian Community Health (CAICH), was created in 2010 through a P20 Exploratory Center of Excellence grant to study and address health disparities faced by AI.


The objective of the current project is to create an Environmental Health Subcore within our Community Outreach and Engagement Core. This will capitalize on CAICH's infrastructure and community connectedness. Our secondary objective is to strengthen our burgeoning partnership with the Children's Mercy Hospital Center for Environmental Health. This partnership will expand and continue to address environmental issues brought to our attention by our Community Advisory Boards. We propose the following specific aims: (1) To create an Environmental Health Subcore (EHS) to support current and future training and education, outreach, and research projects; and (2) To expand our longitudinal research project examining tribal college students' tobacco use to include exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and availability of tobacco products using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping.


CAICH uses community-based paritcipatory research (CBPR) methods to work with the AI community to address pressing health concerns. Environmental health and housing issues have come up repeatedly in community discussions and our continued partnership with the Center for Environmental Health will allow us to study and further address them. The EHS will provide GIS mapping services to our tribal college project and new environmental health pilot projects; provide environmental health education to community members, health care providers, and facilities maintenance professionals; conduct healthy homes assessments; and provide research and service opportunities for Master's in Public Health students in our track in environmental health and college students majoring in environmental science.

Expected Results:

The EHS will address the critical issue of poor housing conditions in the AI community, identifying the problems and then linking community members to programs that will help them alleviate the problems. We will also provide significant environmental health education to community members, provider, and facilities maintenance professionals. In addition to our service and education, we will begin to understand AI exposure to ETS and how we can address this important health concern. Through all of these projects, we provide educational opportunities for AI college and graduate students interested in environmental health, thus increasing the number of AI entering this field.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 4 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

underserved populations, indoor air, epidemiology, Midwest, risk assessment, particulates, toxic substances

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2012 Progress Report
  • 2013 Progress Report
  • Final Report