Online Program

Assessing chemical and non-chemical stressors to advance science and policy

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 11:10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Maureen Y. Lichtveld, MD, MPH, Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Communities living on the US Gulf Coast face a range of chemical and non-chemical stressors producing a triple health threat: persistent risks associated with exposures to hazardous substances, a historic burden of health disparities, and the impact on their health of living in a disaster-prone area. The Transdisciplinary Research Consortium for Gulf Resilience on Women’s Health focuses on women of reproductive age living in vulnerable Gulf Coast parishes and aims to strengthen community resilience. Social support has been shown to play a role in mediating health during pregnancy. A community-based participatory research project equipped Community Health Workers (CHWs) with mobile health technology to promote education and access beyond the health care system. The cohort (N=141) was predominately <25 years old (65%), African American (69%), urban (73%), single (57%), high school educated (63%) and enrolled in Medicaid (61%). A survey used to quantify the strength and integrity of the relationship between the CHW and participant were significantly different between trimesters (p=0.003) with significantly increasing scores as the study progressed and highest scores following delivery (p=0.0011). A parallel mix-methods ethnographic study examining cultural attitudes about hurricane preparedness found a shared model, but significant differences in beliefs across education (p=0.001) income (p=.056) and previous hurricane experience (p=0.06). Cross-referencing all study findings with a state policy gap analysis uncovered critical areas to coordinate with policy makers.  A science-driven policy framework designed as a promising national model will detail a roadmap for future culturally-tailored health interventions targeting population exposed to complex chemical and non-chemical stressors.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the complex interaction between chemical and non-chemical stressors and the impact on at-risk communities. Examine the role of community health workers in promoting maternal and child health. Assess cultural influences on hurricane preparedness. Discuss a science-driven policy framework as a roadmap for future culturally tailored health interventions in populations exposed to chemical and non-chemical stressors.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a 30 year career as an environmental health expert and am the PI of the research to be presented. I chair a Gulf Coast research center with a research portfolio if $26M focusing on environmental health disparities research involving chemical and non-chemical stressors.
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.