273910 Working with Navajo communities, providers, and government to understand uranium-exposure impacts throughout the lifespan

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Johnnye L. Lewis, PhD, DABT , Director, Community Environmental Health Program; PI, DiNEH Project; NMCARES EH Core co-Director, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, College of Pharmacy, Albuquerque, NM
For more than a decade, the Diné Network for Environmental Health (DiNEH) Project has been working with Navajo communities, Navajo and federal government agencies, and health care providers to design and conduct research and outreach focused on uranium exposures and health. The goal has been not only to design and conduct research to answer the communities' questions, but also to promote partnership among policy-makers, providers, researchers and communities that will lead to early detection of health problems, prevent disease, and inform decisions to reduce or eliminate exposures from the more than 1,100 abandoned uranium mine- and mill-related waste sites identified on the Navajo Nation. Our work began with investigation of an adult to elderly population, and is now expanding to look at reproduction among women of childbearing age and child development. Over the 20 years the project has worked together, the team has grown to include not only involvement of community members, but of those in decision-making and policy development roles in clinics, tribal, and federal government. Increased involvement and integration of agency staff in Navajo Division of Health and Navajo EPA, as well as council delegates, have created the basis for expanding evaluation of interactions between health and environment, and inclusion of these perspectives in decision-making to protect the health of future generations.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives: Abstract id# 273910 1. Describe how inclusion of clinicians, policy and decision-makers, community members and researchers in partnerships leads to sustainability of public health initiatives. 2. Discuss how involvement of policy-makers and clinicians in research from inception facilitates translation of results to improve care and develop effective policies. 3. Evaluate the role researchers can play in developing trust and common language among partners. 4. Discuss the legacy of uranium mining in the Western US and its impact on tribal populations.

Keywords: Uranium, Native and Indigenous Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the Principal Investigator of the Dine Network for Environmental Health for more than 12 years, and have been working in coalitions with community members, researchers, policy makers and clinicians to understand the health effects of exposures to uranium wastes, to understand exposure pathways, reduce risks and improve clinical care. The DiNEH project has sampled water and soil sources, conducted massive outreach campaigns, investigated disease in adults, and is beginning a birth cohort.
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.