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Your Environment. Your Health.

PEPH E-News May 2014

Volume 5, Issue 5: May 2014

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Translating and Testing Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Messages

As science improves our understanding of the causes of breast cancer, there is a need to translate research findings into messages the public can use to reduce its risk for environmental breast cancer. In a new study, a team of communication researchers and scientists, co-funded by the NIEHS and the National Cancer Institute through the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP), explore this "development-to-delivery gap" by creating and testing the effectiveness of environmental breast cancer risk reduction messages. The BCERP team recruited mothers with young girls to gauge how well they understood, believed, and related to the messages. Mothers and other caregivers of adolescent girls are a critical audience for breast cancer risk messages because prevention efforts during girls' early developmental stages can influence breast cancer risk later in life. In the study, published in the Journal of Health Communication, mothers evaluated magazine-style messages about three environmental breast cancer risk factors – perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), bisphenol A (BPA), and radiation. Overall, the mothers found the messages to be useful, and many indicated they would take action to reduce their daughter's exposure based on what they learned. Despite overall positive assessments, participants indicated a desire for more scientific evidence presented in a bullet list format, suggesting that message design should include sufficient details about the scientific evidence rather than brief interpretations of findings.

"While scientific evidence needs to support message recommendations, both communication science and creative inputs need to inform the development, design, and delivery of the health message," said lead study author Kami Silk, Ph.D. "Understanding mothers' knowledge base, belief systems, and preferences can help us design health messages that have the greatest opportunity to impact how they think about, and ultimately act on, breast cancer risk reduction recommendations."

Resources on Breast Cancer and the Environment

Here are some additional resources developed by PEPH and PEPH grantees that can help you start or continue the conversation about breast cancer and the environment in your community:

Your Daughter and Breast Cancer: Reducing Her Risk Now: Created by the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program, this brochure is part of a toolkit for parents and caregivers to (1) raise awareness about the potential relationship between environmental exposures during certain vulnerable times in the life course, known as windows of susceptibility, and breast cancer risk; (2) provide examples of steps that can be taken now that may reduce exposures and risk; and (3) connect readers to additional resources.

Breast Cancer and the Environment Podcasts (Part 1 and Part 2): Created by PEPH, these podcasts feature experts who study (1) how the chemicals and other environmental factors we're exposed to early in life might contribute to the development of breast cancer later on and (2) translating breast cancer research into the decisions we make in our everyday lives.

PEPH in the Environmental Factor

The April issue of the NIEHS Environmental Factor features several stories highlighting our PEPH colleagues. Take a moment to catch up with some of the latest projects and activities happening in the PEPH network:

NIH celebrates equity, diversity, and inclusion
NIH officially launched the new Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion with a full schedule of activities March 24-27 that included a special flash mentoring session at NIEHS.

Duke and UNC SRP scientists connect with journalists
The NIEHS-funded Duke and UNC Superfund Research Program Research Translation Cores co-hosted a workshop March 5-6, focused on communicating science to the media.

Community resilience and disaster response in the U.S. Gulf Coast
A February 25 PEPH webinar highlighted NIEHS-funded research on community responses to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Hurricane Katrina. Presenters described community-engaged research projects in the Gulf Coast region to illustrate how social networks and community engagement enhance community resilience after a disaster.

PEPH Evaluation Metrics Web Training

We are thrilled to announce a new web-based training option to learn more about the PEPH Evaluation Metrics Manual. The Manual provides examples of tangible metrics that PEPH grantees and community partners can use to plan and evaluate research projects. This training will help you maximize use of the Manual by showing you how to apply the principles to your own projects and by providing helpful guidance about strategies for evaluating your projects. We hope this will be a great tool you can use to demonstrate the impacts of PEPH research and activities.

New Minority Work Training Program Report

A new report, Minority Worker Training Program: Guidance on How to Achieve Successes and Best Practices(8MB), provides a detailed assessment of the NIEHS Minority Worker Training Program (MWTP), including best practices for successful implementation, recommendations, and case studies highlighting how the program has transformed the lives of trainees, families, and communities traditionally overburdened by economic distress and exposures to hazardous environmental conditions.

The goal of MWTP is to recruit and train underserved people who live near contaminated sites so they can access construction and environmental remediation jobs in their communities. Through MWTP, approximately 10,000 people have been trained in more than 30 communities nationwide. Read the report(8MB), which was released March 2014, to learn more about MWTP and its many successes.

PEPH Environmental Health Chat Podcast Series

Environmental Health Chat logo
We already have had some great podcasts this year! Visit the Environmental Health Chat Web page, if you missed any of the latest additions to the series, including Citizen Science, Arsenic in Rice and Other Foods, and The Exposome. And stay tuned for the upcoming podcast on obesity and the environment.

Two Upcoming PEPH Webinars on (1) the Economics of Preventing Lead Exposure and (2) the Human Microbiome

The Costs and Benefits of Preventing Lead Exposure: Putting Economics into the Picture. Many of us understand the science behind lead exposures, but do we understand the economics? Can understanding the costs and benefits of exposures help us to address them more effectively? In this webinar, we will hear from two researchers who are putting economics squarely into the issue of lead exposures. The webinar will be held May 7, 2014, 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT. Register online.

Microbes, the Environment, and You. Thanks, in part, to the NIH-funded Human Microbiome Project, researchers are learning quite a bit about the normal human microbiome and its functions and how disrupting the microbiome may be associated with disease. Environmental health researchers are becoming interested in the microbiome and how it interacts with our environment. This webinar will feature talks from two researchers who are using model systems to investigate how the microbiome responds to environmental exposures, as well as its relationship to environmentally induced disease states. This webinar will be held May 21, 2014, 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT. Register online.

EPA/NIEHS Children's Centers Webinar on Outdoor Environmental Exposures

The next EPA/NIEHS Children's Centers Webinar will showcase speakers discussing passive air-sampling methods, community-based participatory research, and the consequences of air pollution on children's health. It is scheduled for May 14, 2014, 1:00-2:30 p.m. EDT. Register online.

CDC Webinar on the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network

Register now for the May 1 webinar to learn more about the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program The Tracking Network is a system of health, exposure, and hazard information that presents what is known about where environmental hazards exist, where people are exposed to hazards, and how targeted action can protect health, reduce illness, and save lives. Data from the Tracking Network can be used in various public health specialties, including chronic disease prevention. Space is limited, so reserve your spot now for the May 1 webinar from 2:30-3:30 p.m. EDT!

Physicians for Social Responsibility Webinar Series on Health and Hydraulic Fracturing

Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) is sponsoring a three-part webinar series on Health and Hydraulic Fracturing. Each webinar will feature an expert in the field and will provide scientific knowledge for health professionals and others concerned about the potential harms to health and the environment from unconventional gas and oil extraction. The webinars will be held on May 7 (6:00 p.m. EDT), May 14 (7:00 p.m. EDT), and June 12 (8:00 p.m. EDT). Visit the PSR website for more information.

APHA's Food, Justice and Health Equity: A Webinar Series

The American Public Health Association and Healthy Food Action are co-sponsoring a four-part "Food, Justice and Health Equity" webinar series. The next webinar, "Transforming Community Food – Stories from the Ground Up" will be held May 28 at 3:00 p.m. EDT and will tell the story of three minority communities trying to change their food systems, their success so far, and the many challenges that remain as residents tackle food justice, community and job development, and health inequity. The remaining two webinars are scheduled for September and October 2014. Register once for the entire series.

Job Announcement: CDC Is Looking for a New NCEH/ATSDR Director

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is actively recruiting a Director for the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). For nearly 35 years, NCEH has been protecting people from environmentally related health hazards through data collection and monitoring; applied research; communication and education; and setting guidelines, standards, and recommendations. ATSDR was created in 1985 to prevent community exposure to hazardous substances, build the science base on toxic substances, educate healthcare providers and the public about toxic chemicals, and maintain health registries. Job Descriptions: Ph.D.s (or equivalent) and M.D.s and D.O.s. Closing Date: May 27, 2014.

Upcoming PEPH-Related Meetings

April 30-May 3, 2014: Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) Conference , in Chicago, Illinois. Also be sure to check out the preconference workshops !

May 7-9, 2014: National Training Conference on the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and Environmental Conditions in Communities , in Arlington, Virginia. The conference serves as the main public outreach and training event for EPA's TRI program, which provides communities with information about toxic chemical releases and waste management activities.

June 9-21, 2014: Summer Institute in Environmental Health Sciences . The Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health is offering a two-week Summer Institute for students in degree programs and for public health professionals interested in learning more about environmental health sciences concepts.

June 23-27, 2014: Data Matters: Data Science Short Courses in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. This is a week-long series of classes for researchers, data analysts, and other individuals who wish to increase their skills in data studies and integrate data science methods into their research designs and skill sets.

July 7-10, 2014: National Environmental Health Association Annual Educational Conference and Exhibition , in Las Vegas, Nevada.

August 11-22, 2014: NIMHD Translational Health Disparities Course: Integrating Principles of Science, Practice and Policy in Health Disparities Research in Bethesda, Maryland. The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) will host a course on the science of health disparities to provide specialized instruction on the concepts, principles, methods, and applications of health disparities science, practice, and policy. It will also integrate principles and practice of community engagement. The course is free, but admission is competitive. Submit an application via the NIMHD website by May 22, 2014. For additional information contact: NIMHDHealthDC@mail.nih.gov.

December 1-3, 2014: International Symposium on Minority Health and Health Disparities in National Harbor, Maryland. Start preparing your poster and oral presentation abstracts now! Abstracts are categorized into broad thematic areas related to domestic and global transdisciplinary collaborations on minority health, health disparities, and health equity. Abstracts are due June 2, 2014.

Funding Opportunities

Visit the PEPH Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) page for more PEPH-related funding opportunities.

Community Partnerships to Advance Research (R01 , R15 , R21 ). Encourages researchers to partner with communities using Community Engaged Research (CEnR) methodologies that will enhance relationships leading to better interventions and positive health outcomes. Deadlines: June 5, 2014 (R01); June 25, 2014 (R15); June 16, 2014 (R21).

Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships for Undergraduate Environmental Study. The EPA is offering undergraduate fellowships for bachelor level students in environmental fields of study, including environmental health, environmental policy, Native/Tribal environmental science, environmental justice, etc. Eligible students will receive support for their junior and senior years of undergraduate study and for an internship at an EPA facility during the summer of their junior year. Deadline: May 27, 2014.

Notice of Intent to publish FOA for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers (P01). The NIEHS and EPA intend to publish a joint FOA to solicit applications for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers. This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects and cores. The FOA is expected to be published in April 2014 with an expected application due date in July 2014.

Translational Research to Improve Diabetes and Obesity Outcomes (R01). Deadline: June 5, 2014.

Interventions for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Native American Populations (R01). Deadline: May 15, 2014.

Behavioral and Social Science Research on Understanding and Reducing Health Disparities (R01 and R21 ). Deadlines: June 5, 2014 (R01); June 16, 2014 (R21).

Health Promotion Among Racial and Ethnic Minority Males (R01 and R21 ). Deadlines: June 5, 2014 (R01); June 16, 2014 (R21).

Do you have an announcement to share with the PEPH community? Send us your news for the next issue of the PEPH Newsletter (peph@niehs.nih.gov).

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