245871 Partnerships for Environmental Public Health: A model for the future

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Liam O'Fallon, MA , Division of Extramural Research and Training, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has been a leader in the promotion and development of community engaged programs since 1994. Over the years, NIEHS established grant programs to address environmental public health issues of greatest concern to community groups. These individual programs focused on community engagement, capacity building, research, education, and communication. A key challenge for these successful programs has been the ‘programmatic silos' that hindered interactions among the different grantees. In 2008, NIEHS initiated a ‘re-visioning' process. Soliciting input and feedback from the public on how best to establish a new model for the next decade, NIEHS designed and implemented the Partnerships for Environmental Public Health Program (PEPH). PEPH serves as a coordinating body that integrates the various new and existing initiatives that involve communities and scientists working together on contemporary issues in environmental public health; in effect, PEPH breaks down the ‘programmatic silos' and promotes a virtual network among the projects. Through PEPH, NIEHS stimulates both scientific advances and development of practical tools, materials, and resources that can be used by a variety of audiences to improve environmental public health. We believe that PEPH is an exemplary model for bringing together individuals, project teams, and partners to discuss, learn from, and advance their common experiences, approaches, and materials regardless of which program they receive their funding. In its second year, the PEPH has been gaining traction within the grantee community and has made several notable accomplishments. This poster highlights the overall structure, function and benefits of PEPH. We also describe the key tenets of PEPH, the methods employed to integrate activities, and the challenges we face in coordinating new and existing initiatives in an effort to have a greater positive impact on the environmental public health of communities.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Environmental health sciences
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to… 1. Define “environmental public health” as conceived by the NIEHS. 2. Enumerate different approaches to promote greater interactions among research teams as a means to facilitate co-learning and break down ‘programmatic silos.’ 3. Describe strategies for developing a federal program with public input.

Keywords: Environmental Health, Participatory Action Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present the poster because I am the coordinator for the Partnerhsips for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) program at NIEHS. I have been integrally involved in the community-based activities at NIEHS for 10 years.
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.