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UTMB-CET: Community Outreach and Engagement Core

Division IV: Environmental Health Policy

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

Current Initiatives

Education and Communication Working Group of the National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures: This working group which includes COEC representation is specifically charged with, 1) building professional capacity, designing formats for training in public health implications of chemical exposures, 2) advancing public knowledge of health issues associated with chemical exposures and the effects of household chemical use on indoor air quality, and, 3) developing evidence-based general principles of risk communication to reduce confusion and increase inter-agency coordination. This working group will coordinate closely with similar groups focused on serving communities and scientific understanding to develop effective translational strategies for education/risk communication. Input from working groups in this project will inform national public health policy, particularly within sponsoring agencies, the National Center for Environmental Health, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read this report for more information (PDF).

Multiple Impacts & Health Disparities in Port Arthur, TX is a community profile of cumulative risk project that seeks to merge conceptual risk frameworks focused on 1) aggregate exposure (multi-source, multi-route over time) and, 2) a holistic/comprehensive schema including the role of social determinants of health and a broader collection of pathways and impacts on human health outcomes. The project will operationalize findings in terms of multi-stakeholder risk communication and advocacy with a bias toward moving through analysis toward action and ultimately into policy change.

Science and Policy Symposia/Luncheon. Every other year, during the off-year of the Texas Legislature, the COEC will convene a Science and Policy Symposia/Luncheon for the purpose of presenting targeted environmental health science information to state legislators and their staffs related to legislation on which they are currently working. By keeping account of further contacts with our target list audience, i.e. tracking eventual legislation and requests for further information, we can serve as a conduit for information to ensure the crafting of scientifically sound, evidence-based policy.

Third Column

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