231650 CARE (Community Action for an Improved Environment) – an effective model for community engagement on environmental and environmental health issues

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 9:00 AM - 9:20 AM

Michael Wenstrom , Environmental Justice, US Environmental Agency - Region 8, Denver, CO
Historically, EPA has funded programs in communities based on media (air, water, etc). For the first time, with CARE, the Agency has created a dynamic cross-programmatic grant program.

With CARE, EPA takes a comprehensive approach to address the full range of environmental and environmental health issues from various media. Further, and importantly, the CARE process supports community capacity building as a key step in a longer-term process to position communities to secure other resources for pursuing additional solutions to improve their environment.

CARE funds communities with a two year cooperative agreement at two levels: Level I - a Community-based assessment at up to $100k, and Level II, funded up to $300k and designed to effect a mitigation of hazards identified by the community

Over the past five years, CARE has funded more than fifty community-based projects. The eligible applicants are non-profit entities, local governments. Federally-recognized tribes, colleges and universities. The two classes of grantees most often found in the CARE program are non-profit organizations and local Public Health agencies.

How well does the program work? The National Academy of Public Administration produced a report on the CARE program in which they noted: “The CARE model has the potential to facilitate access into parts of local communities that existing EPA programs have had trouble reaching.” And. “Unlike most of EPA's other traditional grant programs, the CARE program awards cooperative agreements that require a close, ongoing relationship between the local grantee and EPA throughout the life of the grant.”

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Discuss how the EPA's CARE Grant Program enhances the environmental health of a community.

Keywords: Environmental Justice, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Region 8, USEPA CARE Coordinator.
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.