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Community Engagement Activities

HHS Participation in Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice Stakeholder Meetings




EJ IWG at the Council on Environmental Quality

Washington, DC

May 21, 2013

EJ IWG Meeting

Biloxi, Mississippi

March 1-2, 2013

2013 HHS-Sponsored Environmental Justice and Related Meetings

Community Engagement to Support Community-Based Organization Capacity Building

May 15, 2013, Atlanta, GA

Region IV OASH staff and the NIEHS Worker Education Training Branch co-sponsored a session on Community Engagement to support Capacity Building of Community-Based Organizations. The session was held at the Sam Nunn Federal Building in Atlanta, GA, and timed to precede the Brownfields 2013 Conference. Highlights of NIEHS Minority Worker Training Program accomplishments were covered. There was also a facilitated sharing and exchange session on best practices and lessons learned in community engagement, capacity building, addressing environmental public health and environmental justice.

Environmental Health Disparities and Environmental Justice Meeting

July 29-31, 2013, Research Triangle Park, NC

The NIEHS, in partnership with the EPA, NIMHD, CDC, OMH, and IHS hosted a meeting focused on identifying priorities for action to address environmental health disparities (EHD) and environmental justice.

The Environmental Health Disparities and Environmental Justice Meeting brought together over 200 researchers, community residents, health care professionals, and funders to consider ways to address EHD and environmental justice issues and to identify actionable recommendations. During the three-day event, participants shared their own experiences and knowledge, showcased benefits of community-university partnerships, highlighted innovative research tools, emphasized the importance of dialogue, and identified collaborators with new skills for addressing EHD.

The meeting’s overall success is highlighted by the demonstrated commitment of:

  • Community groups and residents to research partnerships that examine and inform solutions to their environmental health concerns;
  • Researchers to equitable community engagement in the research process and recognition of communities' local knowledge;
  • Health care professionals to improving communication with patients about environmental health issues; and
  • Funders to support projects that address both historical and emerging EHD and environmental justice issues.

The full meeting summary and meeting materials can be found online: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/about/visiting/events/pastmtg/2013/ehd_ej/index.cfm.

Other HHS Stakeholder Meetings

2013 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference

April 16-18, 2013, Washington, DC

The NIEHS WETP conducted a meeting on “Making Green Jobs Safe Jobs on Monday, April 15, 2013, in collaboration with the Blue Green Alliance, prior to the start of the 2013 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference. Approximately 15 people attended the session to share updates on green jobs training activities with key updates from NIEHS WETP and their grantees, NIOSH, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Blue Green Alliance. On Wednesday, April 18, NIEHS staff made a presentation during a session entitled “Green Jobs, Good Jobs, Safe Jobs” along with OSHA colleagues in which panelists presented guidance materials to help implement safety and health programs in the green sector — including training strategies for younger workers — to ensure that green jobs are safe jobs for all.

2013 National Brownfields Conference

May 15-17, 2013, Atlanta, GA

At the Brownfields Environmental Justice Caucus meeting, Clara Cobb, Regional Health Administrator – HHS (Atlanta, GA) spoke about brownfields, economic development, and community engagement by sharing elements and activities of the HHS EJ Strategy.

For the Brownfields Conference, HHS organized and participated in various health related sessions at the conference.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)-Hosted Four Affiliate Training and Workshops on May 14, 2013 on Creating a Brownfields Site Inventory, Using Videos to Improve Community Health, Leveraging Health Resources, and ATSDR Action Model and Heath Impact Assessment.

Protecting Future Generations through Effective Public Health Approaches and Monitoring: NIEHS staff Sharon D. Beard and ATSDR staff Dr. Laurel Berman provided overview of their mission and brownfields health related activities. These included NIEHS community based participatory research and training community residents to clean up contaminated properties, and ATSDRhealth information to prevent harmful exposures and diseases related to toxic substances, as well as health consultation, and tools and resources for the public. In particular, Dr. Berman described ATSDR Brownfields/Land Reuse Action Model. NIEHS and ATSDR grantees shared specific highlights from their activities to support public health approaches and monitoring in Los Angeles, Seattle, Atlanta, Ottawa County, Oklahoma, (Highland, Buffalo, Rochester, Niagara Falls, NY), and communities in Wisconsin.

Brownfields Redevelopment and Local Hiring: Several job training awardees from EPA and NIEHS shared information about their successful training to focus on how to promote local hiring including NIEHS Awardee, CPWR and their partnerships and community engagement activities in St. Paul, MN, New Orleans, LA and especially East Palo Alto, CA.

Meet and Greet the Surgeon General: Dr. Regina Benjamin spoke at the Economic Redevelopment Forum and the Brownfields Highway to Healthcare sessions.

NIEHS Worker Education and Training Awardees of the Dillard University HBCU Consortium conducted a dynamic session on how partnerships are deployed within the workforce development arena can assist training program participants in receiving resources necessary to move them toward family sustaining employment.

Annual National Environmental Health Association Meeting

July 9-11, 2013, Washington, DC

On July 11, 2013, HHS hosted a session at the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) Annual Educational Conference and Exhibition entitled “Advancing Environmental Justice at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.” Approximately 15 NEHA members from across the U.S., including Mississippi, Kentucky, Illinois, California, and Nebraska attended the session. Panel members highlighted key actions outlined in the 2012 HHS EJ Strategy, the process by which it was developed, and progress to-date. The presenters described how environmental justice is being advanced through new policies, training and education, new research and data, and more effective services. Panelists also noted the critical importance of stakeholder engagement in defining the appropriate environmental justice actions to meet the needs of disadvantaged communities.

Environmental Justice Workshop

August 28, 2013, East Tampa, FL

On August 28, 2013, OASH Region IV participated in the Environmental Justice Workshop sponsored by the Florida Brownfields Association Environmental Justice and Outreach Committees and National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals (NALGEP) at the Ragan Park Community Center in Tampa, FL. Topics included: successful community health strategies, innovative strategies for neighborhood revitalization in environmental justice communities, HRSA funding and brownfields redevelopment, health impact assessments, healthier food access in brownfield communities; and health disparities and the National Prevention Strategy. Among the federal agencies represented were OASH, HRSA, EPA, HUD, and the United States Department of Agriculture.

HHS Environmental Justice Webinars

The Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) programs hosted a series of informative webinars related to a broad range of issues with environmental justice implications throughout 2013.

PEPH Webinar: “Addressing Historical Inequities - Environmental Justice for Native Americans” (August 21, 2013)
The webinar highlighted several ongoing environmental justice issues that tribal groups have mobilized around for many years and highlight the environmental health disparities that continue to affect these populations. The case studies presented exemplify culturally sensitive approaches that have been successful to address environmental justice and move towards greater incorporation of Tribal Ecological Knowledge. The webinar also highlighted key outcomes of the session on environmental justice and Native Americans held at the Environmental Health Disparities and Environmental Justice Meeting (July 29-31, 2013). A summary of this well-attended webinar was published in the NIEHS Environmental Factor (October/November 2013)

Environmental Health Chat Podcast: “Native American Health and the Legacy of Mining”
Through the PEPH, a podcast was developed to focus on the environmental public health issues resulting from mining operations in the desert southwest. In particular, this podcast highlights how a community university partnership has been working together to address the health legacy of abandoned mines on Tribal lands.
The podcast can be found on line: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/dert/programs/peph/podcasts/mining/index.cfm

Environmental Health Chat Podcast: “Environmental Health in the Nail Salon”
This podcast focuses on workers in the booming nail care industry – and their customers – who may be exposed to compounds that have been linked with cancer, lung irritation, and reproductive health problems. In this podcast, we discuss the latest research on environmental exposures in the nail salon. The podcast features Thu Quach, Ph.D. who is a research scientist at the Cancer Prevention Institute of California. Her research focuses on the environmental and occupational risk factors for cancer, as well as health disparities in immigrant populations. http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/dert/programs/peph/podcasts/nail_salon/index.cfm.


Back to 2014 Environmental Justice Implementation Progress Report

Content created by Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH)
Content last reviewed on February 27, 2015