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Your Environment. Your Health.

Environmental Health Disparities & Environmental Justice Meeting

July 29-31, 2013

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC

Meeting Materials

Meeting Summary

Additional Resources

Meeting Description

On July 29-31, 2013 the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in partnership with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Office of Minority Health (OMH), and Indian Health Service (IHS) hosted a meeting focused on identifying priorities for action to address environmental health disparities (EHD) and environmental justice (EJ). This meeting brought together researchers, community residents, healthcare professionals, and federal partners committed to addressing EHD and EJ, in particular the grantees funded by NIEHS, EPA, NIMHD, CDC, OMH, and IHS. For the purposes of this meeting, EHD is defined as the unique contribution of the environment to health disparities.

The main goals of this meeting were:

  1. Acknowledge and build off past meetings that have identified historical EHD & EJ issues
  2. Prioritize research areas to ensure the most vulnerable populations' issues are addressed
  3. Identify emerging EHD or EJ issues (new exposures that have not been considered in the past that may lead to new or additional health disparities) and,
  4. Develop a set of priorities that enables participants to set multi-year plans to address the most critical EHD and EJ issues

The meeting included presentations, small group discussions, demonstrations, and poster sessions that led to the development of an action agenda. Presenters highlighted challenges, emerging opportunities, and strategies to build upon existing efforts that bring community groups together with researchers. Specifically, the meeting highlighted and promoted best practices of current and past EHD and EJ projects, and identified emerging issues and new directions in research, communication, capacity building, training, and evaluation. An additional goal of the meeting was to foster new partnerships at the local, state, regional, tribal, and national levels. The meeting also worked to bring together new partners to the discussion of environmental health disparities. Such partners could include: anthropologists, sociologists, and economists as well as those with expertise in law, policy, analysis and evaluation.

Objectives

  1. Set an action agenda for EHD and EJ research that builds off past meetings and current events
  2. Foster and re-invigorate partnerships from communities to government agencies
  3. Develop partnerships between communities and environmental scientists with new approaches/disciplines like anthropologists, economist, sociologists
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