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Final Progress Reports: University of Kentucky: Community Engagement Core

Superfund Research Program

Community Engagement Core

Project Leader: Dawn Brewer
Co-Investigator: Gia Mudd
Grant Number: P42ES007380
Funding Period: 2005-2025
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Final Progress Reports

Year:   2019  2013  2007 

The purpose of the University of Kentucky’s (UK’s) Superfund Basic Research Program’s (SBRP’s) Community Outreach Core is to meet the needs of individuals and communities affected by environmental contaminants by providing educational support about nutrition and health-related issues. Over the last year, UK’s Community Outreach Core has concentrated its efforts on helping communities in eastern Kentucky near the Superfund site at Dayhoit, Kentucky (affected communities), statewide populations through the Cooperative Extension Service in Kentucky counties (broad audiences), and a presentation to a district dietetic association meeting (health care professionals).

The Community Outreach Core presents nutrition education programs under its title, Superfund Community Action through Nutrition (SCAN). The current programs addressed such issues as antioxidants, increased intake of fruits and vegetables, spices as antioxidants, diabetes, benefits of fiber, "superfoods" omega-3 fats, and healthy grilling. The programs include interactive activities, free healthy food, and qualitative discussions.


SCAN program activities for affected community participants:

  • Organized and presented a series of eight SCAN programs to affected community members in Dayhoit, Harlan County, KY, March – November, 2007. These included listening sessions, interactive activities, free healthy food, food demonstrations, and SCAN programs. Students from the Training Core participated when appropriate. Total participation was about 250 of both affected and other (non-affected) interested community members. These SCAN programs include the Harlan Community Advisory group (the Harlan County Cooperative Extension Service (CES) Family and Consumer Science (FCS) agent, a public health nurse from the Harlan County health department, and the Director of the Appalachian Center at UK) whenever possible. To date, this affected community group has not requested environmental health issues from the EPA Community Involvement Coordinator.
  • Continued coordination with attorneys because of pending litigation at the Harlan site. A trial date set for January, 2008 has been continued. The UK-SBRP does not collect data from participants in the litigation as requested by the attorneys.
  • A Master’s graduate student initiated a study of Superfund community characteristics and the possible role of these characteristic in changing dietary behaviors. Researchers are using the University of Minnesota Nutrition Data System Research 24 hour dietary recall software (the gold standard for collection of diet information) to collect dietary habits and changes in relation to presentation of SCAN programs. Affected community members participating in the current litigation do not participate. Approximately 25 people voluntary participanted.

Other presentations to a broader audience:

  • The UK-SBRP has been invited to join a "Harlan County Extension Family Fun Night" in Harlan County (April, 2007). Lisa Gaetke (CL) was the featured speaker. SCAN personnel played a nutrition "scavenger hunt" game with the audience and then explained the answers. The event included nutrition, health, and environmental health- related displays. SCAN had a display on fiber. Approx 135 participants (families with all ages) from the affected community attended.
  • Requests from two counties for SCAN presentations that CES agents are able to present on their own. These groups used a "Spice Up Your Immune System" Powerpoint presentation, interactive game, handouts, and other educational materials developed by SCAN personnel.
  • Presentations to two classes at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science. One was a Master’s class in the Hospitality and Dietetics Administration Program, and the other was an Introduction to the Dietetics Profession class. Total 60 students in both classes.
  • Poster presentation by Carolyn Hofe, Master’s graduate student, at the Kentucky Research Consortium on Energy and the Environment, Oct, 2007.

Presentations to health care professionals:

  • Presentation to the Bluegrass District Dietetic Association January (Quarterly) Meeting. There were about 25 registered Dietitians and dietetic interns (students) in attendance.

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