222365 Outdoor Community and Residential Pollen Measurements in the Urban Core of an Agricultural Region: CBPR Focused on Low-to-Middle Income, Older Adults with Asthma and/or COPD in Central CA

Monday, November 8, 2010

Derek G. Shendell, DEnv, MPH , Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, UMDNJ-SPH (and EOHSI), Piscataway, NJ
Naomichi Yamamoto, PhD, MS , Chemical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Sarah Kelly, MPH , NJ Safe Schools Program/CSCHE, UMDNJ-School of Public Health, New Brunswick, NJ
Christine Foster, MS, RRT , Clinical Director of Respiratory Therapy Programs, San Joaquin Valley College, Visalia, CA
June Sexton, PT , c/o SJVC, Tulare County Asthma Coalition, Visalia, CA
Jeninne Roden, BA , c/o SJVC, Tulare County Asthma Coalition, Visalia, CA
We can control asthma through proper clinical and environmental management and education. To date, allied health professionals like respiratory therapists have not typically been trained in environmental health sciences and engineering concepts critical to air and environmental quality. Simultaneously, the U.S. population is growing and aging; seniors of low-to-middle income families are working and living longer. We need to assist both the community providers and the potential patients. One way of reaching these sub-populations is through local health and environmental justice coalitions focused on specific topics like respiratory health. We conducted in Visalia, CA a community-based participatory research project with a prospective, cross-sectional repeated measures design. Goals/specific aims included collection of quantitative and qualitative process, impact and home environment and health-related outcomes data. Here we present pollen measurements outdoors away from major sources (agricultural fields, large pollinating trees, etc) at a community central site and participant homes in the 1st seasonal (cooling, spring-summer) sampling, July, 2009. Weather was hot and dry with light winds. Co-located active (reference) and passive (PAAS) samplers were used. Overall, we observed spatial variability in pollen counts, and counts were typically lower at homes—regardless of grass, trees, flowers or potted plants present—compared to the central site near a freeway. These data are new in Tulare County; the San Joaquin Valley has few pollen count stations in the national network. Our study suggests—given the region's burden of respiratory ailments and poor air quality—routine pollen counts should be added to regional/state agency air monitoring.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Environmental health sciences
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this presentation, members of the audience will be able to: 1.) Describe the components of a community-based participatory research project, and its planning process, in an agricultural community focused on home environments and older adult asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 2.) Identify and describe data on environmental public health concerns at homes of communities in smaller urban areas surrounded by agriculture, e.g. pollen from landscaping at homes, schools, etc.

Keywords: Community Collaboration, Asthma

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Derek G. Shendell, D.Env, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the School of Public Health at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). He is also on the graduate faculty of Rutgers University and a member of the Exposure Science Division of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI). EOSHI is a joint institute of the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers University. He works to “bridge” science, education and policy in a multidisciplinary fashion to reduce and/or prevent environmental exposures and health effects. He focuses on community/schools-based research with local participation in planning and execution; educational trainings and materials, service and technical assistance; and, informed/evidence-based policy advocacy. His research and professional publications have focused on: school environments, including portable versus traditional, site-built school classrooms and facilities; indoor air and environmental quality in homes and office buildings; urban outdoor air quality and environment characterization, including relationships between indoor, outdoor, personal (adult, child) and in-vehicle air concentrations of fine particles and various toxic air contaminants; ventilation and energy efficiency, and linkages to student attendance; and, asthma among children and older adults. At UMDNJ School of Public Health, he is an Assistant Professor and Director of the NJ Safe Schools Program (http://www.njsafeschools.org), which includes injury surveillance, science-to-policy, communications, and many types of training for teachers and administrative professionals in secondary education (public and private) concerning safety and health. His other prior work experience included being: • Senior Research Associate at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (11/2000-3/2004); • California Endowment funded “Community Action to Fight Asthma Initiative’s” (8/2002-12/2005; CAFA-I) as both Statewide Director of Environmental Health Sciences and Education Projects (2/2004-12/2005) and the Interim Executive Director for eight months (10/2004-6/2005). In addition, from February-June 2005, he was the main technical and administrative advisor to the eight asthma coalitions in the Central California region, and an interdisciplinary health policy research fellow with California State University-Fresno from May-December 2005, working in particular with Fresno, Merced, Tulare and Stanislaus County Asthma Coalitions. • Assistant Professor and founding faculty member of a newly accredited MPH program at the Institute of Public Health at Georgia State University (GSU) in Atlanta, GA. At GSU, he was also affiliated faculty with two programs (Non-profit Studies, Environmental Policy Studies) at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. • Finally, he attended and completed the American Lung Association’s Asthma Educator Institute in June, 2007.
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.