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Your Environment. Your Health.

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH METHODOLOGICAL, TRAINING, AND TEACHING ENTERPRISE (EH MATTERS)

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Principal Investigator: Johnston, Jill E
Institute Receiving Award University Of Southern California
Location Los Angeles, CA
Grant Number R25ES031867
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 01 May 2020 to 28 Feb 2025
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): ABSTRACT Environmental hazards are more likely to be located near low-income communities of color. These hazards are amplified by negative socioeconomic and health factors, including higher rates of chronic diseases, lack of access to healthy foods, substandard housing, racism, poverty, unemployment, lack of greenspace, community violence, and zoning incompatibilities. Understanding the role of environmental health in observed community disparities is fundamentally important to helping communities deliver on the promise of an improved quality of life for its people. Direct community engagement in identifying, developing, and evaluating these relationships is critical to improving health equity. To help develop sustainable solutions, we propose to launch the “Environmental Health MethodologicAl, Training, and Teaching EnterpRiSe” (EH MATTERS) program at USC. EH MATTERS will (1) help foster a new generation of diverse environmental health scientists to improve the current environmental landscape that contributes to disparate health burdens; (2) develop approaches to identify and evaluate environmental health disparities; (3) build skills in community-engaged research and research translation to improve public health. EH MATTERS will leverage the diverse student body at the University of Southern California to engage students in robust and diverse interdisciplinary training and research experiences. This will provide them with needed skills to meaningfully contribute to improving community environmental health status through an integrated research and education training program. Outcomes from these efforts will ignite interest in key areas of health research that disproportionately impact communities of color. Through successive two-year training cycles, up to half a dozen motivated undergraduate students per year from underrepresented minority groups (URGs) will be enrolled into a two- year program to develop the tools needed to ultimately build environmental social capital in their respective neighborhoods and communities. EH MATTERS is built upon a framework of didactic seminars, hands-on workshops, skill-building training sessions, and direct field observation activities with resilient community-based organizations across the diverse Southern California environment. A dedicated team of skilled faculty have been assembled to provide trainees with a broad array of critical tools to advance knowledge and skillsets to help make a difference in community environmental health. With a strong tradition of individualized student mentorship and research grant support in environmental epidemiology, environmental exposure research, health disparities and community-engaged participatory research, EH MATTERS faculty and staff will inform, inspire, and engage trainees to acquire the skills needed to re-balance some of the environmental disparities present in impacted communities of color.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 87 - Institutional Training/Institutional Career Development Grants
Secondary: 03 - Carcinogenesis/Cell Transformation
Publications No publications associated with this grant
Program Officer Michael Humble
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