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Your Environment. Your Health.

Goal 11 – Communication

Implementation Highlights and Accomplishments

Man Giving Interview

Promote bidirectional communication and collaboration between researchers and stakeholders, e.g., policy-makers, clinicians, intervention and prevention practitioners, and the public, in order to advance research translation in the environmental health sciences.

  1. Promote NIEHS as a trusted and accessible source of EHS-based information and increase reach and effectiveness in communication and outreach.
  2. Identify and expand our relevant stakeholder communities and enhance engagement to understand their priorities, concerns, and needs related to EHS.
  3. Build and lead long-term federal and nonfederal partnerships with health education agencies and mission-related stakeholder groups, to create a pipeline for the coordination of disseminating scientific results to the public and to hear back from constituents.
  4. Conduct research, as needed, on effective EHS communication strategies, including risk communication and public health.
  5. Develop an integrated, searchable knowledge base on the impact of the environment on health.

Reach and Effectiveness

Engagement and Partnerships

New Centers

  • Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors (CURES) – This new center at Wayne State University emphasizes broad interactions with the public, as well as leaders of advocacy, community, and government organizations dealing with the environment and health.
  • Center for Translational Environmental Health Research¬ – the newest National Center of Excellence in Environmental Health Science, a collaboration of Texas A&M University, Baylor College of Medicine, and the University of Houston, will serve as the cornerstone for integrated environmental health research, translation of research advances into practice, and community outreach and engagement aimed at improving human health

Laboratory and Partners Webpages
All Division of Intramural Research and Clinical Center laboratories now have easily navigated webpages to facilitate research dissemination and collaborations. A new NIEHS Partners extranet site has been updated to allow collaborators easier access to shared resources.

Research to Action Program
This program brings together community members and environmental and occupational health researchers to investigate the potential health risks of environmental and occupational exposures that are of concern to the community.

Communication Research

  • Social Media Evaluation: To increase our understanding of how social media users process environmental health information, the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison compiles trends data and analytics from Hootsuite, Symplur, Facebook and Twitter
  • Social Media at Scientific Meetings: NIEHS has introduced and evaluated the use of social media at scientific meetings such as the PEPH Annual and Health Literacy Meetings, EHS Core Centers Meeting
  • Dissemination and Implementation Research: NIEHS and NCI issued Breast Cancer and Environment Communication Research Initiative funding opportunity announcements focused on ensuring effective translation of research findings that result in risk messaging that is understood by targeted audiences, specifically prevention efforts to reduce the risk for breast cancer from environmental factors.
  • Environmental Health Literacy: NIEHS staff published an article in EHP that proposes a definition of and conceptual framework for environmental health literacy (EHL), describes EHL in its social and historical context, identifies complementary fields and domains where EHL is being defined and implemented including risk communication, health literacy, environmental health sciences, communications research, and safety culture; and outlines a research agenda for the field.
  • Science and the Media: The NIEHS-funded Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Superfund Research Program Research Translation Cores co-hosted a workshop for journalists and scientists on March 5-6, 2015 focused on communicating science to the media.

Knowledge Base

  • Public Websites (NIEHS, EHP, NTP, Kid’s): NIEHS maintains 100,000 webpages. More than 4,000 webpages are updated each year.
  • Mobile/Responsive Web Formats: NIEHS websites have been updated to include mobile/responsive formats. The NTP Non-neoplastic Lesion Atlas was created with responsive design specifically to be available on a tablet. Traffic on certain websites has nearly doubled since being made available in mobile format.
    mobile/responsive graph

  • Web-based Training Modules: Available for the Partnerships for Public Environmental Health Metrics Manual.
  • Pop-Up Glossary: On NIEHS’s environment and health topic webpages, which are written for the lay public, mousing over scientific and medical terms provides the user with an electronic definition.