Online Program

Cumulative risk in environmental justice communities: Application of conceptualization, assessment, and risk communication strategies

Monday, November 4, 2013: 8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Using the concept of cumulative risk to incorporate the effects of social determinants of health and multiple stressors on environmental justice (EJ) communities expands the framework for risk characterization beyond the traditional format of emissions monitoring and risk guidelines based on dose responses to single chemical exposures. A systems oriented cumulative risk framework incorporates social determinants of health, health impacts of a range of public policy decisions and practices, the overall social dynamic of EJ communities, and the effects of multiple, simultaneous, multi-media chemical (and other toxicant) exposures on vulnerable EJ communities. Using a CBPR inspired research / dissemination method that involves affected communities directly in risk characterization, health impacts assessments, and the design and dissemination of site-specific, culturally fluent risk messages, promotes active involvement, and extends the depth of interactions among community, research, policy-makers, and the business / industrial sector in the process. This bidirectional, collaborative model will ensure that local knowledge enhances the scope and range of expertise-driven inquiry and that resulting assessments of actual impact better reflects the lived experiences and actual needs of EJ communities. Presentations will include 1) an introduction to Cumulative Risk as the conceptual basis for a system dynamics approach to risk characterization in Environmental Justice communities, 2) the use of Health Impact Assessments in establishing the effects of social determinants of health across a wide range of policy issues, and suggestions on how HIAs may be incorporated into risk characterization process for EJ communities, and 3) a description of how bidirectional community research models further the development of clear, concise risk messaging and promote dissemination using preexisting community networks and open access media formats. Communities referenced in this presentation include Port Arthur, TX and various Gulf Coast fishing communities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. In addition to the “standard” hazardous emissions issues shared by all EJ communities in close proximity to petrochemical facilities along the Gulf, all of these communities have been affected by factors associated with climate change, unmet social services needs from natural disasters, and wide-ranging ecological and economic impacts stemming from the DeepWater Horizon / Macondo oil spill.
Session Objectives: 1. Will Define operational concepts in cumulative risk using a systems dynamics-oriented approach to risk characterization process in collaboration with Environmental Justice Communities 2. Will Develop working understanding of how systems dynamic model integrates traditional risk characterization methods, social determinants of health, health impacts of multiple community stressors, and effects of political / economic factors to achieve a more accurate and useful representation of risk. 3. Will List the steps in a collaborative Health Impact Assessment process. 4. Will Describe how collaborative cumulative risk characterization and communication process enhances the scope and range of scientific expertise with local knowledge, and leverage of local communication networks.
John Prochaska, DrPH, MPH
John Prochaska, DrPH, MPH
Alexandra Nolen, PhD, MPH and John Sullivan, MA

Communicating risk to environmental justice communities: Promoting a culturally-fluent, bi-directional conversation enhancing expertise with local knowledge   
John Sullivan, MA, Wilma Subra, MS, Sharon Croisant, MS, PhD, John Prochaska, DrPH, MPH and Alexandra Nolen, PhD, MPH

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

Organized by: Environment
Endorsed by: Medical Care, Socialist Caucus, Community Health Planning and Policy Development

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)

See more of: Environment