206149 From crisis to opportunity: Using land-use tools to educate and engage vulnerable populations in environmental health policy development

Monday, November 9, 2009: 8:30 AM

Lark Galloway-Gilliam, MPA , Community Health Councils, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
David C. Sloane, PhD , Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Gwendolyn Flynn , REACH US Project, Community Health Councils, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
Bethany Ulrich , REACH US Project, Community Health Councils, Los Angeles, CA
Research Question: What land-use processes can be leveraged to mitigate environmental health risks and engage vulnerable populations in public policy development?

Problem: Public health hazards are found in neighborhoods everywhere as documented by decades of studies—industries dumping toxins into water and air. Vulnerable populations in densely populated urban areas distracted by competing life threatening issues have been largely unengaged in matters involving environment and human health. Yet they experience higher rates of chronic disease correlated to environment than their suburban counterparts. This intervention chronicles the education and engagement of affected populations in changing land-use policies as a way to reduce health risks caused by environmental hazards.

Methods: Residents are engaged employing a social change model involving a systematic approach to institutional change beginning with problem identification, second tiered research/data collection and moving through to policy formulation. Research findings are then used to mobilize affected communities, influence planning process and policy development.

Specific Conclusion: Land-use management processes offer vehicles by which to educate and involve affected populations in environmental health issues.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe at least three methods to engage populations in public health issues relating to land-use policy. 2. Discuss two land use management tools that impact human health and the environment.

Keywords: Public Policy, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am Community Health and Education Policy Director with Community Health Councils, a non-profit community-based, health policy advocacy organization in Los Angeles, California. I oversee program and policy operations of multiple REACH U.S. Project interventions, the successor to REACH 2010. I have facilitated the creation of a community advisory committee, developed the infrastructure for conducting neighborhood resource assessments including adaptation of the Project’s mini-grant program. My background includes more than ten years experience addressing social justice issues in various capacities in both the private and public sectors.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.