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Your Environment. Your Health.

Community-Engaged Research and Action to Reduce Respiratory Disease in Appalachia

Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH)

Study Location: Kentucky Appalachian communities

Academic Partners: 
University of Kentucky
Steven Browning, Ph.D.
Nancy Schoenberg, Ph.D.

MAP logo
Community members selected the name Mountain Air Project (MAP) to reflect the goal of conducting research that enhances the respiratory health of Appalachian residents.

Community Partners:
Appalachia-Science in the Public Interest
Appalshop and the Appalachian Media Institute
Cowan Community Action Group
Faith Moves Mountains
Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
Kentucky Headwaters
Faith-based partnerships with over 70 churches in 8 counties

Project Description

Letcher County, Kentucky Community Advisory Board
The Letcher County, Kentucky Community Advisory Board

This project aims to reduce respiratory health disparities in Appalachian communities in Kentucky by drawing on long-standing community-academic partnerships. Adults in Appalachian Kentucky are 50 percent more likely to develop asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than people living elsewhere in the U.S. Researchers will conduct a community-based assessment to understand better the environmental, social, and behavioral factors that may account for this health inequity. Project partners will use the assessment to collaboratively develop innovative approaches to improving respiratory health and will create a community-endorsed environmental public health action strategy for reducing respiratory health inequities in the Appalachian region.

Specific project aims are to:

  • Investigate the extent, nature, and source of respiratory health inequities through a community-engaged assessment of environmental and individual-level exposures.
  • Enhance community knowledge about respiratory illness and refine a culturally appropriate environmental public health action strategy.
  • Test the effectiveness of the environmental public health action strategy by implementing and evaluating interventions involving self-management and changes to the home environment.