267005 Protecting reproductive health through policy advocacy training

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 3:10 PM - 3:30 PM

Marj Plumb, DrPH , Plumbline Coaching and Consulting, Berkeley, CA
Jessica Trowbridge, MPH , Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, University of California San Francisco, Oakland, CA
Annemarie Charlesworth, MA , National Center of Excellence in Women's Health, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Claire Brindis, DrPH , Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Tracey J. Woodruff, PhD, MPH , Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, University of California, San Francisco, Oakland, CA
Problem statement: Reach the Decision Makers (Reach) is an innovative science and policy training program created for community-based leaders, scientists, public health and health care providers to understand, communicate and act on scientific research to inform the USEPA on issues critical to preventing toxic chemical exposures and ultimately improving the community's health. Reach focuses on teaching participants to evaluate the available science and on breaking down institutional barriers at the USEPA that limit effective policy and regulatory development that can prevent exposures to toxic chemicals at the national and community level. Team projects serve to address issues regarding reproductive environmental health with which to engage the EPA. Too often, the decision-making process which ultimately determines the regulations affecting the health of communities, is not informed by community groups, scientists, and health care professionals because they do not know how to work with regulatory agencies and be most effective in delivering the key, critical, public health science. Methods: Reach is a year-long training program that utilizes: (1) in-person and webinar-based seminars; (2) mentored team-learning groups; and (3) a team policy project. Results: In the first two years of the program we: (1) recruited and trained a multi-disciplinary cohort of 52 fellows; (2) supported the teams 10 team-based policy projects that address: comprehensive pesticide review process, strengthening worker protection standard, air pollution monitoring near roadways, environmental justice goals, testing of endocrine disrupting chemicals, monitoring of air-pollution, incorporating preconception and pre-natal environmental exposures into risk-assessment, and diesel emissions; and (3) improved the program structure and curriculum in response to systematic and comprehensive evaluations to increase the impact of the program. Conclusions: Science and policy training can contribute to immediate and lasting changes to participants ability to interact with the environmental health policy process which should lead to improved environmental health policy.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe a key opportunity to strengthen pubic participation in environmental health policy setting. 2. Examine the elements of an experiential learning model for increasing participation in the policy process. 3. Evaluate the degree to which a training program in science and public policy can contribute to improvements in environmental health policy setting.

Keywords: Environmental Exposures, Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I helped create and currently direct the program.
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.