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Your Environment. Your Health.

Addressing Environmental Health Disparities through Research

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Addressing Environmental Health Disparities through Research

October 26, 2017

Expert: Symma Finn, Ph.D.

Some groups of people in the United States experience higher rates of certain diseases than the general population. For example, communities near highways, which are more likely to be lower income or include people of color, may be exposed to more traffic-related air pollution and have a higher risk of respiratory disease. These differences in health outcomes between groups are called health disparities.

In this podcast, hear more about the complex factors that are involved in environmental health disparities. Plus, learn how the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and NIEHS-funded researchers are working to address environmental health disparities and promote environmental justice for all.


Symma Finn, Ph.D.
(Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Symma Finn, Ph.D., is a Program Officer for the NIEHS Population Health Branch, as well as Program Director for the National Institutes of Health and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Centers of Excellence for Health Disparities Research.

A scientific research administrator since 1984, Finn serves as the NIEHS point of contact for Tribal research and participates in trans-NIH and trans-federal committees related to environmental justice, tribal research, health disparities, and social and behavioral research. In addition, Finn develops new areas of interest in communications and environmental health literacy, oversees communications research, outreach and community dissemination activities for the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program, and is involved in the Partnerships for Environmental Public Health network.

Finn directs community-centered social science research and contributes extensively to programs that study health disparities and the relationship between environmental and social stressors, environmental justice, and bioethics.

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