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Your Environment. Your Health.

PEPH E-News June 2014

Volume 5, Issue 6: June 2014

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Community-University Partnership Strengthens Community Resilience Using the Arts

The arts bring people together and can help families and communities cope with and recover from natural or human-caused disasters. This was the idea behind a March 2014 symposium, "Using the Arts for Resiliency in Rural Communities," held in the Gulf Coast city of Apalachicola, Florida. The two day symposium was co-hosted by Franklin's Promise Coalition, a community organization, and the University of Florida. This community-university partnership is one of many nurtured through the NIEHS Deepwater Horizon Research Consortia, a program funding four Gulf Coast universities – the University of Florida, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB), Tulane University, and the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center - New Orleans – to study the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on human health and resiliency in Gulf Coast communities.

The Arts Symposium demonstrated how the visual arts, music, dance, and theater can build capacity and enhance wellbeing in rural communities. "Our involvement with the University of Florida's Healthy Gulf, Healthy Communities project combined with our longstanding relationship with the University of Florida Arts in Medicine Program, has given Franklin's Promise Coalition a unique capacity to understand community resiliency and how the Arts can impact community health," said Joe Taylor, Executive Director of Franklin's Promise Coalition and a Deepwater Horizon Consortium Steering Committee Member, "The opportunity to bring researchers, community members, artists, and agency representatives together initiated an effort which continues to grow and will lead to a second gathering in Tallahassee next Spring." The event also strengthened ties between Consortia researchers from the University of Florida and UTMB. John Sullivan, of the UTMB Center in Environmental Toxicology's Community Outreach and Engagement Core was a presenter at the symposium and also hosted a special "Theatre for Resiliency" workshop.

The Arts Symposium highlights the collaborative structure of the Consortia, where community partners work with researchers to help develop and disseminate findings to families and communities along the Gulf Coast. Read the Environmental Factor article to learn more about coordination across the Consortia and how community partnerships are strengthening the Consortia research.

PEPH in the Environmental Factor

The May 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:

Centers focus on emerging environmental health science and collaboration
Directors from across the U.S. gained expertise and new perspectives at the 2014 NIEHS Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers annual meeting, sponsored by the University of Southern California.

Tsunami exercise helps prepare research community for disaster response
NIEHS sponsored a table-top disaster response exercise April 7 in Los Angeles in order to prepare researchers to take action in case of a tsunami.

The GuLF STUDY four years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
On April 11, NIEHS provided preliminary findings from the GuLF Study and announced a second round of health exams, encouraging all participants to stay involved over the long term.

Presentations and virtual forum mark Autism Awareness Month at NIEHS
On April 22, NIEHS hosted lectures by four experts on autism and the environment, followed by a virtual community forum webcast.

PEPH Grantee Highlight: Asa Bradman, Ph.D.

Asa Bradman, Ph.D., University of California - Berkeley, has spent most of his career as an advocate for children's environmental health. Much of his research has focused on the environmental health risks in childcare centers, and he played an integral part in the development of an integrated pest management curriculum to help childcare professionals reduce toxins in their settings. Read more about Bradman's accomplishments and research on the PEPH Grantee Highlights Web page

New JPB Environmental Health Fellows Program at the Harvard School of Public Health

With support from the JPB Foundation, the Harvard School of Public Health has established the JPB Environmental Health Fellowship Program to support junior faculty or research scientists who are at an early career stage at institutions across the U.S. Fellows should be interested in environmental health research focusing on disadvantaged populations. Visit the JPB Environmental Health Fellowship Program website to nominate a promising junior faculty member. Nominations are due May 31, 2014.

Third National Climate Assessment Highlights Impacts on Human Health

On May 6, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released its third National Climate Assessment (NCA). The NCA represents the most accurate and expertly reviewed science on the current and projected impacts of climate change in the United States. Overall, the report illustrates that climate change presents a serious public health problem and that the capacity of the U.S. public health and healthcare delivery systems face many challenges. Read the full reportor individual chapters on how climate change may affect human-health, indigenous-peoples, rural-communities, and more.

EPA Launches EnviroAtlas Ecosystem Mapping Tool

The EPA recently launched EnviroAtlas, an interactive Web-based tool that can help decision makers understand the implications of planning and policy decisions on ecosystems and communities. The tool is designed for people from all levels of government, professionals, researchers, educators, non-governmental organizations, and anyone interested in considering the benefits or impacts of a decision, such as siting a new road or city park. EnviroAtlas integrates geospatial data from a variety of sources to allow users to visualize and analyze how decisions impact ecosystems and their ability to provide goods and services. EnviroAtlas is a great tool to help people learn about ecosystems and how they provide us with benefits such as clean air and water; opportunities for recreation; and protection from severe weather, such as hurricanes and floods. We encourage you to check out EnviroAtlas to see how it may benefit your work.

Help the NIH Develop a Cookstove Research Agenda

The NIH recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) to aid in the development of a research agenda to evaluate the potential health benefits of improved cookstove use in low- and middle-income countries. The Global Cookstove Distribution Programs and Projects for Evaluation of Health Benefits RFI is intended to help NIH understand the landscape of cookstove distribution programs around the world that may provide opportunities to evaluate the health benefits of these programs. E-mail responses to FICcookstoves@mail.nih.gov by June 30, 2014.

CDC Soliciting New Grantees for Environmental Public Health Tracking Network

CDC just released a Funding Opportunity Announcement, "Implementation of the Environmental Public Health Tracking Network," with the intention of adding new grantees to the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program. This is the first time new grantees have been solicited for the Tracking Program since 2009. Please note the short deadline: applications are due by June 24, 2014. CDC's Environmental Health Tracking Branch will host a call on June 10 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. EDT to answer questions (Call-in number: 1-866-673-8322; Passcode: 2093678). Follow the instructions below to access the announcement and application package:

  • 1. Go to: www.grants.gov
  • 2. Select: "Applicants"
  • 3. Select: "Apply for Grants"
  • 4. Select: "Download a Grant Application Package"
  • 5. Type in the Funding Opportunity Number, formatted as:
    CDC-RFA-EH14-1405 (must type "CDC-RFA-")

EPA Seeking Public Comment on Enhancing Transparency for Chemicals and Mixtures Used in Hydraulic Fracturing

EPA is seeking public comment on which information could be reported and disclosed for hydraulic fracturing chemicals and mixtures and the approaches for obtaining this information. This Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) will help inform EPA's efforts to promote the transparency and safety of unconventional oil and gas activities while strengthening protection of our air, water, land and communities. This is an important step in increasing the public's access to information on chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing activities. Review the ANPR, which includes a list of questions for stakeholders and the public to consider as they develop comments.

PEPH Environmental Health Chat Podcast Series

Environmental Health Chat logo
 Stay tuned for our upcoming podcasts! Future topics include obesity and the environment and environmental exposures from hobbies and sports. You can find past podcasts on the Environmental Health Chat Web page, or subscribe to the series on iTunes.




PEPH Webinar: Environmental Health Literacy – The Evolution of a New Field

Environmental health literacy (EHL) bridges shared concepts from the fields of risk communication, environmental health science, behavioral science, evaluation, communications, public health, and the social sciences. As a new field, approaches and methods to raise EHL are evolving; therefore, attention to the evaluation of these approaches and validation of their effectiveness is needed. In this webinar, we will hear from two recognized experts in health literacy and environmental health communication who will set the context for EHL by highlighting the relation between health literacy and improved health outcomes, as well as how other fields contribute to EHL research. The webinar will be held June 24, 2014, 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT. Register online.

EPA/NIEHS Children's Centers Webinar on Chemical Exposures through Food

The June EPA/NIEHS Children's Centers Webinar will focus on environmental chemicals and food safety. The webinar will take place Wednesday, June 11, 2014, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. EDT. Register online.

Upcoming PEPH-Related Meetings

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 12-13, 2014: Disaster Research Response Workshop at the NIH's Bethesda, Maryland campus. The Institute of Medicine Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the National Library of Medicine (NLM), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are planning a workshop for stakeholders interested in advancing the state of disaster research. Workshop attendees and speakers will include federal, state, and local researchers; responders; and planners and will explore a broad range of issues related to mechanisms and barriers to rapid response. Register online

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. The AEC is the premier event for environmental health professionals to gain new information, meet with their peers, and stay up-to-date on the latest innovative ideas and trends.

August 11-22, 2014: 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. Check out the draft course overview and syllabus online. (Registration for the course has closed.)

August 19-21, 2014: National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference, co-hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Public Health Information Coalition, is an excellent opportunity to meet with colleagues and to shape the future of health communication, marketing, and media practice. Register online.

October 5-9, 2014: Eighth International PCB Workshop: PCBs in Schools, Exposures, Effects, Remediation and Regulation. A primary objective of the PCB Workshops is to provide a unique, single forum for experts on issues of analysis, fate and transport, exposure assessment, metabolism and disposition, toxicity, and public health policy to come together and learn from each other. The Workshop will take place October 5-9, 2014 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Abstracts are due by July 25, 2014.

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.

February 4-6, 2015: Save the date for the Children's Environmental Health Network 2015 Research Conference in Austin, Texas. The conference will explore how the interaction between food and environmental factors affect children's health. Registration opens in July.

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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