Our Vision: The Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) serves as the nexus between and among the Center in Environmental Toxicology’s stakeholders and target audiences, including our scientists, community members and organizations, health care practitioners, and those engaged in policy-making related to environmental health.
Our Mission: The COEC’s mission is to 1) translate and disseminate environmental health science for the communities we serve, and 2) to guide Center research through multidirectional communications with Center stakeholders. The ultimate goal is to improve individual and public health locally through our efforts by establishing and more broadly sharing with our targeted stakeholders, community engagement best practices.
Our Aims: The primary aims of the COEC are to:
- Translate and disseminate Center science to increase environmental health understanding and to improve the health of our communities at the local, state, and national levels
- Promote multidirectional communications among CET stakeholders to enhance the capacity of individuals and organizations to make informed environmental health decisions, increase community/ Center research collaborations, and integrate community partners in Center governance and programs
- Enhance capacity of CET investigators, scholars, trainees, and students to engage in environmental health community-based research by providing education and workforce development programs
- Advance the field of community engagement by rigorously evaluating traditional and innovative outreach and engagement activities and processes and disseminating best practices at regional and national levels, including the Partnerships for Environmental Public Health
Our Approach: We embrace a bidirectional and recursive process involving our scientists and community members by:
- Engaging our Stakeholders to identify and prioritize issues (ex., SCI Café)
- Facilitating focused discussions on topics of interest through Encuentros (for purpose of networking and information exchange)
- Developing research projects through Community Science Workshops
- Interpreting and disseminating results
- Acting (through policy, intervention, education)
Integration with Center Science: We observe the underlying tenets of Community-Based Participatory Research, which also serves as the foundation of the population and public health research conducted through our Integrated Health Sciences Facility Core Community-Based Research facility. We recognize all stakeholders as equitable partners, all of whom contribute to the expertise and experience that will enable us to collectively address and understand environmental health impacts in our communities. To fulfill our mission, we have established the infrastructure to enable ongoing, meaningful, multidirectional communication between our networks of community partners and CET scientists to facilitate translation of Center science, increase environmental health literacy, and build relationships that will lead to research responsive to our communities’ needs.