October 31, 1996
31 Oct 1996: Panel to Seek Foundation Cooperation -- and Money -- for Kids at Risk from Lead, Pollution and Pesticides
Kids in low socioeconomic areas and ethnic minority communities have higher blood lead levels and more asthma than other kids. Children of farm workers suffer more effects from pesticides than do other children.
"These are American young people whose special problems need the special attention that private foundations can provide," Kenneth Olden, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, will tell a major panel of the American Public Health Association's annual meeting in New York.
"The federal government and my Institute within the National Institutes of Health give research, training and educational grants to universities and grassroots organizations to address these problems, but these grants are not enough. More can be done if private foundations support additional efforts in coordination with federal institutes and agencies."
For example, Dr. Olden said, "We may have ten outstanding applications for communityactivities when we have money for only six." He said, "Foundations would be welcome to take advantage of NIEHS' review of applications to efficiently find additional funding opportunities."
Gary Yates, Ph.D., president and CEO of the California Wellness Foundation, and Bruce Thomas, Ph.D., program director of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will be part of the APHA panel, along with LorettePicciano-Hansen, executive director of The Rural Coalition, Peggy Saika, executive director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network and Dr. Olden. They will present their ideas for expanded foundation-government partnerships at the APHA's annual meeting in a plenary session panel discussion Nov. 20, at 12:30 p.m., in the Princess Ballroom at the Sheraton New York at 811 Seventh Ave. The session (number 3085 in the meeting program) is open to the media.
Dr. Olden has provided leadership on environmental justice issues within the federal government, and NIEHS was the primary coordinating agency for a national environmental justice meeting in February 1994, in Arlington, Va., during which President Clinton issued an Executive Order from the White House declaringenvironmental justice a government-wide effort.
Private foundation participation in supporting environmental justice programs can increase the communities served and the variety of approaches tried, Dr. Olden said.
NIEHS, while an institute of the Bethesda, Md. based NIH, is located in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
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