Online Program

Using CBPR results to advocate policy development in an environmental justice community: The enrrich project

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Susanne Montgomery, PhD, MPH, MS, Behavioral Health Institute, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Monideepa Becerra, DrPH, MPH, CHES, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Benjamin Joseph Becerra, DrPH, MBA, MPH, MS, School of Allied Health Professions, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Rhonda Spencer Hwang, DrPH, MPH, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Penny Newman, Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ), Riverside, CA
Samuel Soret, PhD, MPH, School of Public Health, Center for Community Resilience, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Asthma remains a public health threat affecting over 7 million children (9.4%) in the U.S. Underserved areas, such as San Bernardino County, CA are disproportionately affected, with 15% of children diagnosed with asthma. These high rates of childhood asthma are in part due to the County's location downwind from the Los Angeles basin's air pollution but in addition, many suspect that emissions from the local railyards are further culprits for these elevated rates. In a recent risk assessment, the local BNSF railyard was ranked 2nd highest in pollution levels and 1st in community risk, as a large low income Latino population lives directly adjacent to the railyard. As such, vulnerable children, with their developing respiratory systems, attending school in this community are likely to experience increased exposure to pollutants and greater risk of respiratory health problems. Consequently, Loma Linda University's Project ENRRICH, a community-based-participatory research program in partnership with the Breathmobile and community partner CCAEJ, assessed respiratory health in over 1,000 children at two local elementary schools. Preliminary results indicate that 50% of children screened either had or were at high-risk for asthma; a rate much higher than national or even average County levels. Such rates are further indicative of a potential linkage between goods movement-related emissions and poor respiratory health in children. This calls for comprehensive policy changes to reduce the health risks for this extremely vulnerable and underserved population. We will examine local efforts involving multiple stakeholders toward the formulation of a comprehensive policy and mitigation response plan.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss current environmental justice concerns in underserved rail yard communities of inland Southern California. Identify, local, state, and federal policy recommendations to improve health outcomes in such communities.

Keyword(s): Policy/Policy Development, Environmental Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Professor and Director for Research BHI at LLU and one of the co-PIs of the AQMD funded air quality CBPR research study we are submitting the abstract about. I am also actively involved in several other NIH and CDC funded community based research studies involving the same target population, low income Latinos.
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.

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