When the Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill occurred in 2010, NIEHS immediately deployed staff to the Gulf region to ensure that cleanup workers were adequately trained. The Institute also began supporting research aimed at understanding the human health effects of the oil spill, the long-term mental health impacts of the spill on coastal residents and women and children, the resilience of individuals and communities, and whether seafood in the Gulf was safe for human consumption.
NIEHS led the five-year, $25.2-million Deepwater Horizon Research Consortia program, which created community-university partnerships aimed at addressing the health effects stemming from the oil spill. Findings from this trans-NIH program are helping to improve community preparedness and response to disasters and minimize disaster-related health impacts such as stress, exposure to contaminants, and effects on women of childbearing age and their children.
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans, Tulane University, University of Florida, and University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston participated in the program. This network of institutions partnered with more than 45 community organizations to ensure that research relates directly to the needs of local communities in the Gulf Coast region. The National Institute of Mental Health; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Cancer Institute; National Institute of Nursing Research; NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research; National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences; and National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities participated in the program, and program staff at these institutes served as scientific advisors for the program.
NIEHS research and training will help communities and institutions in the Gulf Coast and around the country understand how to be prepared for disasters and how to limit any negative health effects related to disasters.
- Louisiana State University
- Tulane University
- University of Florida
- University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston
Claudia Thompson, Ph.D.
Population Health Branch
P.O. Box 12233Mail Drop K3-04Durham, N.C. 27709