235734 Clearing the skies: Combating air quality disparities through local community data capacity building

Monday, October 31, 2011

Jazmin I. Zane, MSW , Center for Health Policy Research, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Ying-Ying Meng, Dr Ph , UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Los Angeles, CA
Isela Gracian , East LA Community Corporation, Los Angeles, CA
Jennifer Ponce , The Children's Clinic, Long Beach, CA
Elina Nasser, MPH , Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Peggy Toy, MA , Health DATA Program, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Los Angeles, CA
Steven Wallace, PhD , UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Los Angeles, CA
BACKGROUND: Assessment of Local Environmental Risk Training to Reduce Health Disparities (ALERT), is a training and education project designed to foster community-academic partnerships in addressing the priority air-quality issues identified by communities of color, low-income neighborhoods, and immigrant populations in Los Angeles. ALERT targets community leaders and representatives from Boyle Heights (BH) and Long Beach (LB), which are areas within Los Angeles County that are highly impacted by poor air quality. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: One aspect of the ALERT project is to build community capacity to use environmental health data in planning and advocacy work through a 4-day train-the-trainer (TTT) course, in which participants learn skills and knowledge to utilize and implement in their local communities. Two TTT courses were conducted (one in BH; one in LB). Participants were required to implement their skills and knowledge learned in the course by conducting community workshops in which they developed an Environmental Health Action Plan (EHAP) with local community members. DATA: A total of 58 participants (23 in BH; 31 in LB) participated in the TTT course. Of these 58 participants, 50 (86%) conducted community workshops and developed an EHAP. In both BH and LB, majority of participants reported an increase in confidence with conducting an environmental health assessment, as well as their knowledge of environmental health topics and air pollution data. Follow-up data collection is scheduled in order to track progress of actions identified on the EHAPs, as well as successes and challenges with implementation. CONCLUSION: In light of the growing health concerns associated with poor air quality, and considering the environmental health disparities observed among lower income and communities of color, building the data capacity of community leaders who represent underserved areas is greatly needed in order to increase the likelihood of local actions and policy changes combating poor air quality.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify ways to assess community-participant knowledge and data capacity on environmental health and conducting community environmental health assessments 2. Describe common local community environmental health problems that can be the target of community assessments, actions, and policy advocacy 3. Explain the skills that community leaders and members need and have that are used to develop an Environmental Health Action Plan

Keywords: Environmental Health, Community Health Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present as I am the project manager for this study, as well as the trainer for the environmental health assessment course as stated in the abstract.
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.