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Your Environment. Your Health.

PEPH E-News July 2014

Volume 5, Issue 7: July 2014

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Training Public Health Professionals to Improve Environmental Health Literacy

A growing body of evidence links low health literacy and poor health. Public health professionals play an important role in helping individuals, families, and communities understand health information. This is a critical step to promoting healthy behaviors and improving public health.

As part of an ongoing effort to increase environmental health literacy, the NIEHS-funded Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) of the UNC Chapel Hill Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility (CEHS) engages public health professionals to teach their patients and clients about how the environment can affect their health. Through the program, the COEC trains a variety of public health professionals to increase environmental health literacy, particularly in the areas of healthy homes and asthma.

“Working directly with public health professionals not only helps the COEC extend its reach broadly across North Carolina, but it also connects us to people who are focused on cultivating environmental health literacy in every community,” said COEC Director Kathleen Gray, “they are eager to learn about current science and work with us to figure out how it can best be applied locally.”

In the past year, the program has had far reaching effects. Public health and housing professionals who participated in the COEC’s day-long Healthy Homes for Community Health Workers training have shared information from the training with more than 500 individuals and families during home and clinical visits. Another training prepared nearly 100 public health nurses, social workers, housing professionals, and asthma advocates to inform patients and their families about reducing environmental triggers of asthma in the home. The COEC also engaged more than 250 nurses in a webinar that outlined federal guidelines to protect the health of young mothers and their infants from lead poisoning.

The COEC is now working with CEHS researchers to share emerging science on skin cancer with child care health consultants. They are also collaborating with the UNC School of Information and Library Science to develop a website to educate younger African American women and their healthcare providers about breast cancer risk.

To learn more about the emerging field of environmental health literacy check out the latest PEPH webinar, Environmental Health Literacy: The Evolution of New Field.

PEPH Annual Meeting to Focus on Environmental Health Literacy

We are excited to announce that Environmental Health Literacy (EHL) is the central theme for the 2014 PEPH meeting. The meeting will be held September 22-24 at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences main campus in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The first two days of the meeting will include oral presentations, panel discussions, and ample opportunity for small group interactions. The third day will be comprised of hands-on workshops related to EHL. Workshop proposals are due by July 10, 2014. Please email to request the Workshop Abstract Form with “PEPH Workshop” in the subject line. Meeting registration will open in late July. We are capping registration at 150 participants, so please register early. Stay tuned for more information later this summer.

PEPH in the Environmental Factor

The June 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:

PEPH Grantee Highlight: Annie Belcourt, Ph.D.

Annie Belcourt (Otter Woman), an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes and a descendent of the Blackfeet and Chippewa, is working to address health disparities and improve health in Native American communities. Belcourt uses an educational intervention focusing on healthy wood-burning practices to improve indoor air quality in two Native American communities. Part of the intervention involves digital storytelling, which allows Native Americans to create and distribute their own stories in their own words. Read more about Belcourt’s accomplishments and efforts to improve Native American health on the PEPH Grantee Highlights Web page.

Connecting Students to Environmental Health

The National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Environmental Health Student Portal is a great resource to get middle school aged kids interested in environmental health. The Portal includes sections on air pollution, chemicals, climate change, and water pollution. With videos, games, and experiments, the Portal offers a fun way to keep kids busy this summer and a tool for teachers to incorporate environmental health into the classroom this fall!

NIH Announces New Biosketch Format

With strong support from NIH leadership, the NIH Office of Extramural Research will be rolling out a new biosketch format. The new NIH biosketch emphasizes your accomplishments instead of just a list of publications. The primary focus of the new NIH biosketch will be the magnitude and significance of the scientific advances associated with a researcher's discoveries and the specific role the researcher played in those findings. For more about the new format, see the NIH Rock Talk blog post.

PEPH Environmental Health Chat Podcast Series

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More than one-third of American adults are obese. Although diet and exercise clearly play a large role in the development of obesity, scientists are finding evidence that being exposed to certain chemicals could also increase the risk of obesity. In a new podcast titled Obesity and the Environment, we speak with Bruce Blumberg, Ph.D., a researcher at the University of California, Irvine, about how chemicals might contribute to weight gain.

You can find past podcasts on the Environmental Health Chat Web page, or subscribe to the series on iTunes.

PEPH Webinar: Food Safety and Nutrition

The PEPH webinar topic for July is “Food Safety and Nutrition.” Stay tuned for more information about the webinar date, presenters, and how to register.

EPA/NIEHS Children’s Centers Webinar: Social Determinants of Health

The July EPA/NIEHS Children’s Centers Webinar will focus on social determinants of health. The webinar will take place Wednesday, July 9, 2014, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. EDT. .

Upcoming PEPH-Related Meetings

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. Check out the draft course overview and syllabus. (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.

September 8-10, 2014: Latin American Conference on Compatible Mining: Protecting Vulnerable Populations and the Surrounding Environment in San Luis Potosí, México. The goal of this multi-stakeholder conference is to assemble an international group of experts, government officials, non-governmental organizations, and community and industry leaders to discuss how to implement compatible mining appropriate to the needs and perspectives of vulnerable populations and the surrounding environment. The University of Arizona Superfund Research Program is co-hosting the conference.

September 22-24, 2014: PEPH Annual Meeting on the NIEHS main campus in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. This year’s theme is “Communication Research in Environmental Health Sciences: Environmental Health Literacy.” Workshop proposals are due by July 10, 2014. Please email to request the Workshop Abstract Form with “PEPH Workshop” in the subject line. Meeting registration will open in late July.

October 5-9, 2014: Eighth International PCB Workshop: PCBs in Schools, Exposures, Effects, Remediation and Regulation in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. 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. Abstracts are due by July 25, 2014.

October 26-29, 2014: PPTOX IV in Boston, Massachusetts. PPTOX IV hosts the world’s leading experts in endocrinology, toxicology, and environmental health to provide interdisciplinary discussions on the current landscape, future directions, and ongoing global effects of early life exposures in research, medicine, and regulation. One conference goal is to identify implications for public health and clinical medicine in building research agenda consensus for the next five years. See the program for information on conference sessions.

November 3-4, 2014: Health Literacy Research Conference in Bethesda, Maryland. This is an interdisciplinary meeting for investigators dedicated to health literacy research. It is an opportunity to advance the field of health literacy, a method to raise the quality of our research, and a venue for professional development. Session abstracts are due July 11, 2014.

November 15-19, 2014: 2014 American Public Health Association in New Orleans, Louisiana. This year’s conference theme is “Healthography: How Where You Live Affects Your Health and Well-Being.” Late breaker abstracts are being accepted for the following sections: Epidemiology, Aging and Public Health, and Injury Control and Emergency Health Services. See each late breaker section for deadlines and information on how to submit. If you are an NIEHS grantee or partner, and you will be presenting at APHA this year, let us know! We will compile the “PEPH at APHA” booklet later this summer.

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. There is still time to submit an abstract! The abstract submission deadline has been extended to July 1, 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 affects children's health. Registration opens in July.

Funding Opportunities

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

Undergraduate Research Education Program to Enhance Diversity in the Environmental Health Sciences (R25). The goal of this NIEHS undergraduate research education R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce in the environmental health sciences. Deadlines: July 15, 2014 (letter of intent); August 15, 2014 (application).

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Funding Opportunity. CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health has released a new FOA to support surveillance activities in states, counties, and cities with the most concentrated and persistent lead poisoning issues. Deadline: July 22, 2014.

NLM Information Resource Grants to Reduce Health Disparities (G08). The purpose of this FOA is to bring health information to health disparity populations and their healthcare providers. Deadline: July 29, 2014.

NIMHD Basic and Applied Biomedical Research on Minority Health and Health Disparities (R01). The purpose of this FOA is to solicit innovative basic and applied research on fundamental biological mechanisms involved in disease conditions that disproportionately affect health disparity populations and therapies or interventions that can contribute to reducing or eliminating health disparities. Deadlines: July 28, 2014 (letter of intent); August 28, 2014 (application).

Fulbright-Fogarty Fellows and Scholars in Public Health. Fogarty has partnered with the Fulbright Program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, to promote the expansion of research in public health and clinical research in resource-limited settings for both medical or graduate student fellows and postdoctoral scholars. Deadlines: August 1, 2014 (Postdoctoral); October 14, 2014 (Fellows).

Superfund Hazardous Substance Research and Training Program (P42). Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center grants will support problem-based, solution-oriented research Centers that consist of multiple, integrated projects representing both the biomedical and environmental science and engineering disciplines, as well as cores tasked with administrative, community engagement, research translation, training, and research support functions. Deadlines: August 3, 2014 (letter of intent); September 3, 2014 (application). See the Notice of Correction on eligibility information.

Environmental Contributors to Autism Spectrum Disorders (R01, R21). The purpose of this FOA is to stimulate and foster research to (1) identify environmental contributors to risk and expression of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and (2) understand how environmental factors impact the underlying biologic processes implicated in ASD. Deadlines: August 26, 2014 (application); a letter of intent is due 30 days before the application due date.

Air, Climate and Energy (ACE) Centers: Science Supporting Solutions. EPA is interested in supporting research on the development of sound science to systematically inform policy makers at the state and local levels regarding the development of innovative approaches to enable effective implementation of air pollution control strategies to achieve the greatest public health benefits by reducing exposure to harmful air pollution. Deadline: September 4, 2014.

Air Pollution Monitoring for Communities. The EPA, as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is seeking applications that create knowledge to empower communities and individuals to take action to avoid air pollution exposure, using low-cost portable air pollution sensors. Deadline: October 7, 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.


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