3015.0 More Than Oil: Health and Environmental Disasters

Monday, October 29, 2012: 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Gulf Coast communities face multiple interdependent stressors, including a disaster-prone environment, persistent environmental health threats, and historic disparities in health, socioeconomics, and other factors. Recent natural and technological disasters--Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill--demonstrate the interconnectedness of ecosystems and human health. Repeated disasters in communities burdened by environmental and social disparities may have a negative impact on community and individual resilience. This session will describe the effect of environmental and social disparities on the public health consequences of disasters; illustrate the complexity of conducting environmental epidemiologic studies in disaster-prone communities; propose a transdisciplinary methodological framework for successful community-based participatory environmental health research; and summarize lessons learned as the basis for improvements in preparedness for future disasters. A multidisciplinary panel will examine issues of environmental health science, policy, and practice throughout Gulf Coast communities in the aftermath of two “one of a kind” disasters, Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. While both disasters present traditional scientific challenges, such as linking exposures to contaminant mixtures to long-term adverse health effects, Gulf Coast communities and their research partners are confronted with additional issues of policy embodied by decades of environmental injustices and a fragile health care system. This session will address the intersection of these disparate contributions and how researchers and communities can work together more effectively to address concerns and promote health. The panel will also examine factors influencing community resilience, the resulting impact on vulnerability in communities affected by repeated disasters, and how these factors ultimately impact environmental health protection.
Session Objectives: At the end of the session, participants will be able to: 1. Describe factors influencing community resilience and preparedness. 2. Evaluate the impact of the historic burden of environmental and social disparities in US Gulf Coast communities on vulnerability to disasters across the lifespan. 3. Explain the basic principles of community-based participatory research and how this methodology can be applies to reduce health inequities.
Aubrey Miller, MD, MPH

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: APHA-Special Sessions
Endorsed by: Socialist Caucus

See more of: APHA-Special Sessions