Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH)
Liam R. O'Fallon, M.A. (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/dert/phb/ofallon/index.cfm)
PEPH is a network of scientists, community members, educators, healthcare providers, public health officials, and policymakers who share the goal of increasing the impact of environmental public health research at the local, regional, and national level. PEPH defines environmental public health as the science of conducting and translating research into action to address environmental exposures and health risks of concern to the public.
Grantees: for information on how to access the PEPH Resource Center, please contact Liam O'Fallon or Lynn Albert. You can also visit the NIEHS Research Partners page ( http://partners.niehs.nih.gov/ ) to access the Resource Center and other NIEHS shared datasets and applications.
PEPH Community Well Represented at APHA
The PEPH community had a strong presence at the annual American Public Health Association (APHA) meeting held last month in Boston, Massachusetts. Our colleagues shared many successful and innovative environmental health research projects; see the PEPH at APHA(http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/assets/docs/j_q/peph_at_apha_508.pdf) listing for a full view of the range and number of the projects presented this year. While all of the highlights from APHA are too numerous to share, take a moment to read about a research partnership between the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University, the University of Florida, and the Farmworker Association of Florida that is working to characterize and prevent occupational exposures among Latino farmworkers.
The group presented several studies funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) through the Research to Action program(http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/dert/programs/peph/prog/rta/). The PI of the project, Linda McCauley, R.N., Ph.D., stated that "The APHA annual meeting was an outstanding venue for PEPH investigators to share results of their work and our community members were excited to be included and raise awareness about these important farmworker health and safety issues."
One study(https://apha.confex.com/apha/141am/webprogram/Paper281976.html) presented by the group explored how female nursery and fernery workers in Florida perceive their risk for occupational and environmental hazards, particularly those related to health and pregnancy. The researchers used information from focus groups, interviews, biomarkers, and two community advisory boards to develop and then deliver a comprehensive training curriculum targeted at female farmworkers of reproductive age. Study results showed that most women worked in the fields while they were pregnant and that their perception of risk did not match levels of contamination. The research team went on to translate these results into a culturally acceptable web-based training tool with information on pregnancy health, pesticide safety, heat stress, ergonomic risk factors, and prevention measures. The online format of the training is a cost-effective and accessible way to advance health promotion and protective behaviors during pregnancy for female farmworkers.
Building a Foundation for Ethical Community-Engaged Research
A new publication (http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2013.301605) provides community-based participatory research (CBPR) practitioners with a summary of the components, challenges, and strategies of ethical CBPR. Partially funded by the NIEHS, the review article provides a foundation for developing a working definition and conceptual model of ethical CBPR. This is the first comprehensive literature review on the topic. CBPR ethical principles are different from those in traditional health research because CBPR must protect the rights and well-being of both the individual and the community as a whole. Throughout the literature, the authors found that the principles that define ethical CBPR are synonymous with those that define CBPR itself, like close collaboration, trust, and joint ownership of data. This similarity between CBPR ethics and methods suggests that investigators need to engage in high-quality CBPR to ensure the ethics of their work. "CPBR has changed the ethical landscape of community health research and has made great strides in bringing research and community together, but we shouldn't assume that academic-community collaborations are upholding stringent ethical standards," said study authors Lisa Mikesell, Ph.D. (https://comminfo.rutgers.edu/directory/lisa-mikesell/index.html) , Elizabeth Bromley, M.D., Ph.D. (http://people.healthsciences.ucla.edu/institution/personnel?personnel_id=596444) , and Dmitry Khodyakov, Ph.D. (http://www.rand.org/about/people/k/khodyakov_dmitry.html) , who call attention to the need for measurable objectives or guidelines to ensure that CBPR is conducted to high standards.
The review was published online (http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2013.301605) ahead of print in the American Journal of Public Health.
Educational Modules Help Pediatricians Connect Children's Health and Environment
Getting people to understand the link between their environment and health can be a challenge, especially at the doctor's office. The Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) (http://eh.uc.edu/ceg/coec/) at the University of Cincinnati Center for Environmental Genetics (CEG) (http://www.eh.uc.edu/ceg/) offers online Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) courses to help bridge the gap between pediatricians and nurses and environmental health issues. "Health care providers need to know about environmental triggers to disease and providing this information through CME/CNE is one viable option," said CEG COEC Director, Erin Haynes, Dr.P.H. (http://www.eh.uc.edu/dir_individual_details.asp?qcontactid=687) The "Pediatric Environmental Health" (http://eh.uc.edu/ceg/coec/community_modules.html) module discusses concepts of pediatric environmental health and describes health effects, like atopic diseases, associated with common environmental exposures. A second module, "Environmental Management of Pediatric Asthma,"(http://eh.uc.edu/ceg/coec/community_modules.html) provides a scientific overview of various environmental triggers of asthma in children and intervention strategies families can use to control environmental exposures at home. Teaching physicians and nurses how to ask environmental health history questions, such as "Where does your child spend his/her time?" or "What do the adults in the household do for a living?", often leads to answers that make a significant difference in the life of a child, said module author Nicholas Newman, D.O., M.S. (http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/bio/N/nicholas-newman/)
The CEG COEC leveraged funds from NIEHS and the National Environmental Education Foundation (http://www.neefusa.org/) to develop and disseminate the modules, which are located on the CEG COEC's Educational Materials Web page. (http://eh.uc.edu/ceg/coec/community_modules.html)
The PEPH Evaluation Metrics Manual (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/dert/programs/peph/metrics/index.cfm) provides examples of tangible metrics that PEPH grantees and program staff can use for both planning and evaluation. Example logic models are used as a means to develop evaluation metrics for cross-cutting PEPH themes such as Partnerships, Leveraging, Products and Dissemination, Education and Training and Capacity Building. PEPH grantees (including all project partners) are the primary target audience for this document.
NEW! Online PEPH Evaluation Metrics Training (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/dert/programs/peph/metrics/training/index.cfm)
Current Issue of the PEPH Newsletter (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/pephnews/lists/currentissue.cfm)
Tox Town Curriculum
The National Library of Medicine's (NLM) Tox Town Curriculum Based Units (http://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/text_version/teachers6.php) are a great way for teachers to get middle school students interested in environmental health. The lessons expand on Tox Town (http://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/) , NLM's visually engaging website where students can explore the connection between health and the environment by including hands-on experiments and communication and social action activities. The curriculum, "Discovering the Connection: Your Environment, Your Health," was designed to help teachers supplement or start an afterschool science club. Topics include water quality, air quality, and chemicals in the home. The lessons also emphasize the importance of science to informed citizenship.
Clean Air Projects
The Clean Air Projects (http://www.nationaljewish.org/cehc/) website is another great one-stop shop for K-12 educational resources about the link between air quality and human health. Created by the National Jewish Health Children's Environmental Health Center, the website offers lesson plan packets that use an investigative framework and hands-on activities to help students understand how air quality is connected to our health, environment, energy consumption, economy, and quality of life.
Web-Based Environmental Health Atlas
The Canadian Environmental Health Atlas(CEHA) (http://www.ehatlas.ca/) is an interactive website you can use to raise awareness about how environmental influences affect our health. A multidisciplinary team of researchers (http://www.ehatlas.ca/credits)
ACAT Seeks Environmental Health and Justice Coordinator
The Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) seeks a full-time Environmental Health and Justice Coordinator to facilitate projects. The goal of all of ACAT's projects is to assure justice by advocating for environmental and community health. The coordinator will regularly work and interact with local, state, national, and international policymakers as well as leaders from Alaska tribes, health care professionals, labor unions, faith-based organizations, educators, environmentalists, youth, seniors, and other non-governmental organizations. See the job posting (http://www.akaction.org/our_story/job_opportunities.html) for details.
EPA/NIEHS Children's Centers Webinar on the Environment and Obesity
The December EPA/NIEHS Children's Centers webinar will focus on obesity and the environment. The webinar will feature presentations by Karen Peterson, Sc.D., from the University of Michigan and Andrew Rundle, Ph.D., from Columbia University. The webinar will be held December 11, 2013 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET. Register online. (http://www.scgcorp.com/epaniehs2012/)
PEPH Environmental Health Chat Podcast Series
Share your thoughts and ideas! We would like to hear from you and get ideas for 2014 podcasts (email@example.com). For the last year, this podcast series has highlighted ways researchers work with community groups to understand and address environmental health issues. Check out past podcasts on the PEPH Environmental Health Chat (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/dert/programs/peph/podcasts/index.cfm) Web page, or subscribe to the series on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/environmental-health-chat/id593495897?mt=2) . Examples of past podcasts:
- Protecting Children from Contaminants at School (https://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/dert/programs/peph/podcasts/school/index.cfm)
- The Epigenome (https://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/dert/programs/peph/podcasts/epigenome/index.cfm)
- Mercury in Seafood (https://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/dert/programs/peph/podcasts/mercury/index.cfm)
PEPH Webinar Series
The PEPH webinar series highlights a range of research from our PEPH community. Tune into the NIEHS YouTube Channel (http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA182FD18058789CC) to watch past PEPH webinars, including:
- Communication Research (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jkiJRQzhGQ&list=PLA182FD18058789CC&index=11)
- Household Air Pollution and Child Health (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbfuNpIYAw0&list=PLA182FD18058789CC)
Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Funding Opportunity
The EPA's Office of Environmental Justice has issued a Request for Applications (RFA) for the 2014 Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program. The EJCPS Program(http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-cps-grants.html) is designed to help eligible non-profit and Native American communities understand and address exposure to multiple environmental hazards at the local level. Applications are due February 18, 2014. Interested applicants are invited to participate in a series of conference calls with EPA to address questions about the EJCPS program and this solicitation. Access the pre-application assistance calls by dialing 1-866-299-3188 and entering the code 202-564-1771 when prompted.
Conference call dates and times:
- Wednesday, December 11, 2013: 4:00-5:30 p.m. ET
- Thursday, January 9, 2014: 7:00-8:30 p.m. ET
- Wednesday, January 15, 2014 (en Español): 4:00-5:30 p.m. ET
- Saturday, January 25, 2014: 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET
- Wednesday, February 5, 2014: 5:00-6:30 p.m. ET
Upcoming PEPH-related Meetings
- February 13-15, 2014: ""New Partners for Smart Growth Conference" (http://newpartners.org/) " in Denver, Colorado. See a new brochure (http://newpartners.org/2014/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Equitable_Development-NPSG14-Conference-Brochure.pdf) for conference sessions focused on equitable development and environmental justice. A special half-day Equitable Development Workshop will be held the first day of the conference. Pre-registration and a $25 fee are required to attend the workshop.
- March 5-7, 2014: "Association for Community Health Improvement Conference (http://www.communityhlth.org/communityhlth/conf2014/2014Main.html) " in Orlando, Florida. The conference theme is: The Critical Role of Community in Moving from Individual to Population Health.
- March 20-21, 2014: Join the academic prevention and public health communities at "Teaching Prevention 2014: Convergence of Technology, Innovation & Collaboration (http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Call-for-Abstracts-Teaching-Prevention-2014.html?soid=1101389902851&aid=SlLVWkhL-Ic) " in Washington, D.C., to share and learn about the skills, infrastructure, and resources needed to practice and promote preventive health.
- April 30-May 3, 2014: Save the date for the next "Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) Conference (https://ccph.memberclicks.net/conference-overview) ." The conference theme is "From Rhetoric to Reality: Achieving Authentic, Equitable & Transformative Partnerships." Registration (https://ccph.memberclicks.net/registration) is now open. There are also several preconference workshops (https://ccph.memberclicks.net/program#Pre-Conference) of interest to the PEPH community.
- May 7-9, 2014: "National Training Conference on the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and Environmental Conditions in Communities (http://www2.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/2014-national-training-conference) " in Arlington, Virginia. The conference will include sessions on pollution prevention, environmental justice, and environmental public health, along with TRI and other sources of environmental information. Submit a session or poster abstract by December 13, 2013.
- May 27-31, 2014 or June 9-13, 2014: "Summer Institutes on Critical Participatory Action Research(http://publicscienceproject.org/summer_insti_2013/) " at the City University of New York Graduate Center in New York City. The 5-day trainings introduce the theory, methods, and ethics of critical participatory action research to graduate students, faculty, and members of community-based organizations. Apply by January 6, 2014.