Revision Application to Support Environmental Health Disparities Research

EPA Grant Number: NIMHD010
Title: Revision Application to Support Environmental Health Disparities Research
Investigators: Provencio-Vasquez, Elias , Olvera, Hector , Grineski, Sara , Collins, Timothy
Institution: The University of Texas at El Paso , The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: August 1, 2011 through July 31, 2014
Project Amount: $752,795
RFA: Transdisciplinary Networks of Excellence on the Environment and Health Disparities (2012) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Justice , Human Health


This Revision is expanding the scope of the existing Hispanic Health Disparities Research Center (HHDRC) by integrating a new thematic Environment Core (EC) focused on environmental health disparities. The new Core is integrating within the current core structure and the broader aims of the HHDRC, while advancing innovative research and practice in environmental health.


The vision for the EC is to: 1) advance knowledge of interrelationships between environmental and social determinants of health disparities, particularly within heterogeneous Hispanic populations, through a commitment to transdisciplinary research; and 2) utilize this knowledge to influence policy change, public health practice and community-based interventions to reduce disparities. This vision will be operationalized through the following three Specific Aims:

  1. Conduct research to evaluate complex interactions between social, built and natural environmental systems, while clarifying which aspects of Mexican-origin/Hispanic status are most important, as determinants of environmental health disparities
  2. Build research and training capacities to examine and address environmental health disparities
  3. Facilitate the translation of environmental health disparities research into policy, public health practice, and community-based engagement


The activities of the EC are two transdisciplinary studies, student and faculty pilot projects, mentoring of students, curricular changes, a new research laboratory, and engagement with community constituents. The first transdisciplinary study is a multilevel modeling examination of individual- and neighborhood-level contributions to disparities in children’s lung health. The second study uses the case crossover design to examine how patient characteristics modify the relationship between air pollution and respiratory and cardiovascular hospitalizations. The EC is soliciting two faculty and two student pilot projects on environmental health disparities. Also for students, the EC will provide six one-year research assistantships. The EC will implement curricular changes in nursing to promote environmental health disparities education. An Environmental Health Research Laboratory will be established to spearhead the ambient air quality assessment for the studies. The EC’s community engagement imperative involves surveying community constituents to assess their needs and interests and forming an ad hoc committee to create an action plan for community-based intervention projects in the future.

Expected Results:

The expected results include high-tier research publications from the transdiscipinary studies; successful completion of faculty pilot projects, including conference presentations and publications; curricular additions in nursing; the physical presence of the Environmental Health Research Laboratory on campus; an action plan for future community-engaged environmental health projects; and the establishment of Environment Working Group.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 40 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 20 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Asthma, respiratory health, air pollution, Hispanics, social inequality, El Paso, Texas, U.S.-Mexico Border

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2012 Progress Report
  • 2013 Progress Report
  • Final Report