2012 Progress Report: Center for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities – Environment Assessment Core

EPA Grant Number: NIMHD004
Title: Center for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities – Environment Assessment Core
Investigators: Diez Roux, Ana V. , Auchincloss, Amy H , Gebreab, Samson , Hickson, DeMarc A
Institution: University of Michigan , Drexel University , Jackson State University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: August 1, 2011 through July 31, 2014
Project Period Covered by this Report: September 1, 2011 through August 31,2012
Project Amount: $556,144
RFA: Transdisciplinary Networks of Excellence on the Environment and Health Disparities (2012) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Justice , Health

Objective:

Following a true community-based participatory research model, community stakeholders are not only participants in the EH Core, but also are researchers who engage in all phases of research proposal development, planning, design, implementation, analysis and dissemination. The primary aim of the Environmental Health Disparities Research Core (EH Core) is to give CEDREC the capacity to collaboratively examine environmental factors that drive health disparities and develop innovative and transdisciplinary solutions. As outlined in the revision application, the specific programmatic aims of the Environmental Core are being articulated within the four existing cores of CEDREC and include:

  1. Collaboratively prioritizing key areas of environmental disparities and identifying optimal ways to intervene through research or policy. To accomplish this aim, we will analyze 240 surveys with community stakeholders.
  2. Expanding opportunities for developing careers in environmental health research by broadening the health disparities track of the established Master of Science Program in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research to include an environmental health disparities seminar series taught jointly by members of the Community Steering Committee and Scientific Steering Committee.
  3. Disseminating key findings to stakeholders by partnering with the CSC in the dissemination of findings via webinars, town hall meetings, and peer-reviewed manuscripts.
  4. Building community partner capacity through the development of community health profiles that will serve as a resource for collaborators.

Progress Summary:

1) Collaboratively prioritizing key areas of environmental disparities and identifying optimal
ways to intervene through research and/or policy.
 
Community dialogues and community surveysCommunity survey collection began in May with a series of introductory community meetings to inform local residents of the project. From June through August, 38 community surveys were conducted with community stakeholders in Chinatown and the South Bronx. Since then, an additional 56 surveys have been completed. The survey has now been translated into Chinese and the Chinese version submitted to the IRB for approval. Dr. Watkins trained two Spanish and one Chinese-speaking survey administrators to conduct Spanish language surveys in South Bronx and LES and Chinese language surveys in Chinatown. Training of CSC to administer surveysAs outlined in the revision application, environmental public health community stewards from each of the five CSC communities are undergoing HIPAA and IRB training under Dr. Watkins’ guidance. To date, 23 members of our partner CBOs have been HIPAA and IRB certified.
 
2) Expanding opportunities for developing careers in environmental health research by broadening the health disparities track of an established Master of Science Program in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research to include a new environmental health disparities research seminar series.
 
An environmental health disparities research seminar series began in August 2012. It consists of five applied community partner led seminars focused on their current local EJ work [1) YMPJ: Land Use and Transportation Justice; 2) MOM: Social Justice; 3) FUREE: Food Justice; 4) GOLES: Housing Justice; 5) CPA: Economic Justice]; three didactic scientific partner-led seminars focused on social and environmental determinants of health [1) Watkins: Epigenetics; 2) Weitzman: Children’s Environmental Health; 3) McBride: Soil Contaminants]; and one methods seminar on the use of GIS to examine environmental determinants of health. To date, three of the five seminars have been conducted and the remaining two will take place next month.
 
3) Disseminating key findings to stakeholders in partnership with the CSC via webinars, town hall meetings, and peer-reviewed manuscripts.
 
As indicated above, the Administrative Core has organized and integrated topics on environmental health, environmental justice, and environmental policy into the existing schedule of CEDREC health disparities lectures.
 
4) Building community partner capacity through the development of community health profiles that will serve as a resource for collaborators.
 
We have now partnered with the New York City Department of Health, Data Unit, Bureau of Epidemiology Services Statistics Branch, led by Dr. Kevin Konty to overlay health data onto the community profiles. We are working to create small area estimates of the community partner catchment areas, disaggregate the health data accordingly and map it so that, in collaboration with Lindsay Donellon, the final set of community profiles can be created. In August, the CSC held its’ second Web-based conference to discuss the community profiles and surveys. Michael Catalano and Lindsay Donellon have presented the community profiles to three of the five partners and are editing them as requested.
 
Evaluation: At month 7, the evaluator began to assess staff knowledge and participant perceptions of behavioral and biomedical research using the CIPP Evaluation Model, a comprehensive framework for evaluating programs, projects, personnel, institutions, and systems. In addition, Dr. Rennis has now created an online assessment survey using Survey Monkey.
 

Future Activities:

We will continue to adhere to the original plans and timeline. We have updated the  comprehensive environmental public health databases for each community partner catchment area. The community profiles now include: socioeconomic and demographic indicators, including ethnicity, income levels, housing, census and employment data; condition of the environment, both natural and built: indoor and outdoor air quality, surface and ground water quality, food safety, contamination of soils, and placement of noxious land uses and sites; environmental factors contributing to the local environmental health risk including emissions from vehicles, industry, such as dry cleaners, and power plants; use of pesticides, waste removal and disposal; availability of health care services (outreach and services by agency, clinic, hospital, first responders); ecological data on land use changes and flooding risk related to climate change.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 5 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Air, access, alternatives, ambient air, atmosphere, biology, built environment, carcinogen, chemicals, collaborative research, community-academic partnerships, community-based participatory research, cumulative effects, decision making, diet, drinking water, ecological effects, epidemiology, effects, ethnic groups, environmentally conscious manufacturing, genetics, health effects, heavy metals, mobile sources, nutrition, particulates, population, public good, psychology, race, risk, risk assessment, sensitive populations, socio-economic, sociological, stressor, susceptibility, toxins, toxic substances, urban planning, vulnerability, water

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2013 Progress Report
  • Final Report