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UTMB-CET: Outreach

Community Outreach and Engagement Core

Our Mission: The mission of the Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) is to translate Center science and environmental health medicine for the communities we serve through a bidirectional exchange of information.

Our Aims: The primary aims of the COEC include

  • Serving as the translational arm for Center science and environmental health medicine.
  • Partnering with local, regional, and statewide stakeholders.
  • Developing outreach and educational models and disseminating best practices.
  • Acting as liaison with the Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core (IHSFC) and the Center's Collaborative Research Teams (CRTs) to promote and establish community-based and community-based participatory research projects.

Our Approach:In order to target real people with real problems, the COEC's four-division structure allows it to flexibly approach different neighborhoods or population groups identified by concern (e.g. cancer survivors, asthmatic children).

Our Core: Through partnerships with local, regional, and statewide stakeholders we have initiated a number of highly successful programs designed to disseminate environmental health knowledge, and to inform and prime Center research. Our COEC's structure and activities are largely driven by the strengths of our Center and the needs of our community for information, outreach, and intervention related to the ongoing and emerging complex environmental problems of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast.

2009 HERO Award winners

Our Community: The Galveston-Houston industrial complexes, combined with the adjacent "Golden Triangle" area of the east Texas coast, comprise one of the largest concentrations of industrial/petrochemical operations in the world. The Port of Houston is ranked first in the United States in foreign waterborne tonnage and second in total tonnage and is one of the world's ten busiest ports. Given the size of the petrochemical complex in the geographic region, it is not altogether surprising that in 2000, Harris County was ranked third in the nation for toxic air emissions, based upon the Toxic Release Inventory. Furthermore, in 2008 the EPA designated an eight-county area surrounding Houston as a "severe non-attainment area" for ground level ozone.

awards presentation

Our Partners & Stakeholders: To support the COEC in the implementation of its vision, the Center appointed a Stakeholders Advisory Board. Community members of the board, each representing different areas of the community: education, government, and medical or environmental research, have become active in promoting the Center's visibility and helping us to form the necessary community networking contacts so that an awareness of problems, ideas, information and materials can pass between varying groups in the region in an efficient and timely manner.

Our Team:

Sharon Croisant, MS, PhD
Director, COEC
Director, Asthma & Children's Environmental Health

Coordinator, to be named

Division I

Lauren Scott, MSW
Director, Educational Outreach

Rolf Konig, MS, PhD
Division I: Educational Outreach

Division II

Sharon Croisant, MS, PhD
Director, Asthma & Children's Environmental Health

Randall M. Goldblum, MD
Division II: Asthma & Children's Environmental Health

Anne L. Meng, MN, CPNP, RNC, AE-C
Division II: Asthma & Children's Environmental Health

Division III

John Sullivan, MA
Director, Public Forum & Toxics Assistance

Division IV

Alexandra B. Nolen, PhD, MPH
Director, Environmental Health Policy
Director, Center to Eliminate Health Disparities

Third Column

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