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Communicating risk, disseminating environmental health information to Gulf Coast communities post-Deep Water Horizon oil spill
Tuesday, November 18, 2014: 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
After the DWH disaster, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences mobilized to offer funding for proposals to study the human health effects of oil pollution from the spill. The scope of pollution from the Macondo well – in terms of barrels discharged and geographic reach of plumes, surface slicks and sheens – interfered with, or in some cases, shut down commercial and subsistence fishing seasons along the northern Gulf, placed local populations at risk from contact with beached oil, hydrocarbon emissions directly from oil and associated burning during cleanup, disrupted traditional food supplies regionally, and devastated fishing economies. While the intramural NIEHS GuLF STUDY tracks health outcomes of spill cleanup workers longitudinally via biomonitoring, the Consortia projects focus on environmental health impacts experienced within fishing communities, and among coastal residents, looking at factors such as: seafood consumption patterns relationship to health outcomes, economic / social impacts, effects on mental health, risk perception, how regional resilience helps individuals, families and communities cope with a range of multiple stressors. Consortium projects are required to employ a community-engaged approach to research and interventions, and the range of methodologies covers the spectrum from CEnR (Community Engaged Research) to CBPR (Community Based Participatory Research). Central to all projects are basic values such as transparency, community participation in data collection and interpretation, timeliness of information delivery, cultural fluency in communication. GuLF STUDY communicates study results in consultation with the project’s Scientific Advisory Board and Community Advisory Group. Though DWH Consortium projects adopted varying approaches to outreach / dissemination of environmental health findings from research, all consortia projects include Community Outreach & Dissemination Cores, mandated in the original RFA and charged with developing methods / leveraging resources to stimulate dialogue, raise regional levels of environmental health literacy, and clearly communicate risks from exposure to crude oil hydrocarbons in the environment and the regional food web. DWH Consortia are led by: University of Florida, Louisiana State University, Tulane University and University of Texas Medical Branch.
Session Objectives: Compare logistical / contextual differences in communication goals, structures and tasks among NIEHS GuLF STUDY and the DWH Consortia projects.
Describe the basic structures / processes of multi-directional community-based environmental health communication networks.
Analyze the processes for developing multi-directional community based environmental health networks of differing scopes and ranges of function, geography and intention.
Explain how geographic, socio-economic and cultural contexts affect individual / community risk perceptions, and reception of risk messaging.
See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.
Organized by: Environment
Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)
Masters Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)