Environmental Justice Strategy Implementation Highlights for 2013
- Policy Development and Dissemination
- Education and Training
- Research and Data Collection, Analysis, And Utilization Services
- Other HHS EJ Accomplishments
Policy Development and Dissemination
Effective implementation of policies, such as legislation, regulations, executive orders, policy directives, and program guidance can serve as key tools to advance environmental justice. In particular, community residents and advocates have frequently cited Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as important levers for achieving environmental justice, in addition to Executive Order 12898.
Signed in 2009, Executive Order 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, through its focus on integrating agency missions and sustainability, provided an opportunity for HHS to link its environmental justice activities to sustainability efforts. In July 2013, the Executive Office of the President released the President’s Climate Action Plan, a series of Executive actions to reduce carbon pollution, prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to address global climate change. Shortly thereafter, the President issued Executive Order 13653, Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change which directs federal agencies to take certain actions to enhance climate preparedness and resilience. The Executive Order acknowledges that the impacts of climate change “are often most significant for communities that already face economic or health-related challenges”.
All of these directives govern certain actions undertaken by the federal government and/or entities that receive federal funding. Furthermore, Title VI, NEPA, and climate change were among the policy topics identified as focus areas in the August 2011 Memorandum of Understanding. The Strategic Element, “Policy Development and Dissemination” includes actions related to these topics, as well as actions to develop policy guidance for specific HHS programs and activities, such as its grant programs.
The President’s Climate Action Plan
Two HHS initiatives are featured in the President’s Climate Action Plan. Both will have implications for communities with environmental justice concerns.
First, HHS is initiating a public-private partnership to develop specific tools and information related to resilience of health care facilities in a context of climate change-exacerbated stressors. The initiative consists of three parts: development of an informational resource packet, creation of a public-private partnership to advance the concept of sustainable and resilient healthcare facilities, and collaborations with federal partners who also are responsible for health care facilities.
Second, CDC is providing support to 16 state and 2 local health departments to help them develop ways to anticipate climate change health effects by applying climate science, predicting health impacts, and preparing flexible programs in response. Through their Climate-Ready States and Cities Initiative (CRSCI), CDC will help states and cities partner with local and national climate scientists to understand the potential climate changes in their areas, assist health departments in developing and using models to predict health impacts, to monitor health effects, and to identify those most vulnerable to these effects. In 2013, CDC completed three guidance documents for use by CRSCI grantees.
- “Applying the Best Science (including how to manage uncertainty) Using the Principles of 'Evidence Based Public Health’”
- “Key Elements and Considerations for Preparing a Climate and Health Profile Report”
- “Assessing Health Related Vulnerabilities to the Changing Climate”
Hurricane Sandy Recovery and Rebuilding Supplemental Appropriation Funding
More than $8 million in grants was awarded to nine recipients in September 2013 to support research to aid the long-term recovery in areas hard hit by Hurricane Sandy. The grants represent the first time HHS has funded research needed by local communities to support long-term recovery efforts.
HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) administers the grants through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. The grants are being coordinated with others administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and are part of a broader effort by HHS to support public health system recovery from Hurricane Sandy.
The funded research focuses on physical and behavioral health aspects of recovery including community resilience, risk communication, and the use of social media, health system response and health care access, evacuation and policy decision making, and mental health. The grants require researchers to share their findings with each other and the impacted communities. This approach will bring together networks of community members and organizations needed to foster a strong recovery and to improve resilience as impacted communities continue to move forward in rebuilding.
The NIEHS Superfund Worker Education and Training Program (WETP) activated and mobilized its network of worker education and training resources to support response and cleanup activities after Hurricane Sandy, to assure safe work practices and high levels of worker protection during the cleanup process. Public employees, construction workers, day laborers, homeowners, and volunteers play a huge role in the cleanup of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. They were, and still are, involved in debris removal, gutting, mucking, and mold remediation. To protect the health and safety of those who are cleaning up the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, NIEHS WETP grantees have been actively involved in training. Curricula have been developed focusing on safety and health related to mucking, gutting, and mold remediation. Courses taught also included disaster safety awareness, OSHA 10, and courses tailored to particular tasks and populations. Courses have been taught in both English and Spanish. In addition, train-the-trainer courses have been developed to train bilingual trainers. Training requests started in January 2013, and as of June 30, 2013, nearly 1,000 people have been trained by NIEHS awardees, with nearly 2,500 contact hours.
Initially, training covered material in Safety Awareness for Responders to Hurricanes: Protecting Yourself While Helping Others. Significant requests for training came from AmeriCorps, New York Care, and New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) World Care Center. The most requested course was Hurricane Sandy Recovery, Protecting Yourself While Mucking and Gutting. Other courses include New York Hurricane Sandy--Recovery Tools and Training and mold remediation and awareness. Safety Awareness was mainly taught to NYCHA workers who were doing door-to-door surveys.
NIEHS also awarded supplemental funding of $1.75 million to six grantees including the International Union of Operating Engineers Training Fund (IUOE), the New Jersey/New York Hazardous Materials Worker Training Program at Rutgers, the Steelworkers Charitable and Education Organization (USW), SEIU Education and Support Fund, University of Massachusetts Lowell, and the International Chemical Workers Union Council (ICWUC) to continue to provide worker safety and health training for those involved in the cleanup of Hurricane Sandy. These grantees received funding to train volunteers, members of the public works, or those involved in the response and recovery of Hurricane Sandy. The full Hurricane Sandy Training report is available (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/public/hasl_get_blob.cfm?ID=9939).
Incorporation of EJ Guidance into HHS National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Process
HHS is updating its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) guidance to more fully address relevant environmental justice principles. A 2012 preliminary review of the HHS NEPA policy revealed a need for additional guidance for the HHS NEPA community to address environmental justice concerns in the NEPA process. HHS NEPA program leads are actively engaged with the Council on Environmental Quality and the NEPA committee of the Federal EJ IWG which is preparing federal environmental justice guidance. When issued, this new NEPA guidance will be adapted for HHS NEPA practitioners. HHS anticipates completion of this effort in 2014.
Education and Training
Education and training are fundamental strategies to achieve environmental justice and build healthy community environments. Through education and training, individuals, families, and communities become more informed and empowered to actively address health concerns about harmful environmental exposures. Effective education and training is comprehensive, targeting not only residents and workers with disproportionately high and adverse environmental exposures, but also health professionals, human services providers, and relevant government officials and employees that develop and implement programs, policies, and activities impacting and serving these communities. HHS is implementing a multi-sectoral approach to education and training in health and environmental justice, targeting the following stakeholders: (1) community and the public, (2) health care workforce professionals, public health professionals, and human services providers, and (3) the HHS workforce.
HHS EJ Frequently Asked Questions
Providing meaningful opportunities for public engagement is an important tenet of environmental justice. Since the federal environmental justice effort was reinvigorated in 2010, HHS has participated in stakeholder meetings and other events where people could ask questions concerning HHS programs related to environmental justice. The HHS EJ Working Group compiled these questions and responded to them in a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document. This document is not a comprehensive inventory of HHS activities related to environmental justice. Rather, it provides examples of activities supported by HHS that are relevant to the questions. For additional information, please see HHS Environmental Justice Implementation Progress Reports on the HHS Environmental Justice website.
Minority Worker Training Program: Guidance on How to Achieve Successes and Best Practices
Since its inception in 1995, the Minority Worker Training Program (MWTP), supported by the NIEHS, has provided hazardous material training to approximately 10,000 people in more than 30 communities across 20 states and the District of Columbia. The MWTP model is designed to effectively address the significant impediments to training and employment that challenge underserved and disadvantaged people. By helping to increase sustainable employment opportunities, promote economic development, address health disparities, and advance environmental justice, the program has transformed the lives of trainees, families, and communities traditionally overburdened by economic distress and exposures to hazardous environmental conditions. The MWTP has provided significant contributions to environmental justice by providing training and increasing job opportunities to people from underserved and disadvantaged communities, who can then participate in addressing the needs of their communities in a meaningful way.
To ensure continuous improvement of the program, NIEHS completed a guidance document, MINORITY WORKER TRAINING PROGRAM: Guidance on How to Achieve Successes and Best Practices. This report provides a detailed assessment of the development of the MWTP, key findings, best practices for implementation and success, short and long term recommendations, and numerous case studies.
Training and Technical Assistance to Community Health Centers
The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC), Office of Special Population Health supports several National Cooperative Agreements (NCAs). The NCAs provide training and technical assistance to HRSA funded Community Health Centers to improve primary health access for vulnerable populations, including people experiencing homelessness, residents of public housing, and agricultural workers and their families. HRSA/BPHC funding opportunity announcements for NCAs can be found on the Grants.gov website at www.grants.gov.
In 2013, HRSA distributed $4.4 million to five NCAs focusing on migrant and seasonal agricultural worker populations. The funding helped to support a range of activities including, training sessions and presentations, health forums, the development and dissemination of resource materials, and publications.
For example, the NCA with Health Outreach Partners (HOP) has helped to support the “Niños Seguros y Sanos: Safe and Healthy Children” project. This project aims to address environmental health in migrant and seasonal farmworker children by educating and empowering those that already have direct involvement and relationships with the children: physicians, nurses, outreach workers, promotoras, and health specialists, among others. The trainings and curriculum include a particular focus on how to protect farmworker children from early exposure to environmental hazards that cause illness and disability across the lifespan.
In addition, the NCA with the National Center for Farmworker Health, Inc. helps to support a series of forums for regional farmworker advocates, health and social service providers, policy makers, and other interested individuals. The three annual conferences are located in each of the loosely-defined migratory streams, representing the flow of agricultural workers up and down the stream as they follow the harvest. The stream forums provide farmworker-specific continuing education to providers of health care and social services in community and migrant health centers, as well as offering a venue for networking among these professionals in the field. The conferences present an opportunity for participants to discuss regional and national trends that affect farmworkers and to share successful strategies for addressing farmworker needs.
Incorporating EJ into Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health Education
HRSA support through the NCA with Farmworker Justice also contributed to the development and use of the Project Clean Environment for Healthy Kids training curricula. For more than a decade, these curricula have helped to train Promotores de Salud (community health workers) in farmworker communities on environmental health topics including, asthma, lead, pesticides, and drinking water, and waste disposal. HRSA funding continues to support to update and disseminate the information through various means of communication in both English and Spanish.
Engaging Minority Serving Institutions to Address Disparities in Environmental Health and Occupational Safety and Health
Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) have commitments to educate and serve minority populations. The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports three environmental health and environmental justice research programs at MSIs and thereby provides educational and research training opportunities for minority students and professionals in environmental health and environmental justice. Two are within the NIMHD Research Centers in Minority Institution Program. The Center for Environmental Health at Jackson State University aims to strengthen the capacity to conduct environmental health and health disparities research. The Border Biomedical Research Center at University of Texas El Paso supports a subproject entitled "Toxicology Program" to investigate the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez stretch of the Rio Grande River to determine the impact of chemicals and mixtures of these in the environment for the local populations. The third project, within the NIMHD Building Research Infrastructure and Capacity Program, entitled "Investigation of Unequal Access to Clean Water" conducted at the University of Puerto Rico, Cayey investigates water quality in Puerto Rican households and how water quality and accessibility are linked to social and biophysical variables at the community and household level.
Through the NIEHS Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program, the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Consortium in New Orleans, LA is a partnership with the Texas Southern University in Houston, TX, and a collaboration with the United Steelworkers, the United Autoworkers, minority-owned training providers, and local, state, and federal agencies. Reaching over 45 organizations, the target population included HBCUs, small businesses, municipal workers and first responders. Dillard University HBCU Consortium trained 283 participants that attended a total of 32 classes that delivered 3,962 training hours to HBCU employees, small business owners and employees, and municipal workers.
The consortium also conducts an HBCU Environmental Health and Safety Regional Training each year to target HBCU health and safety professionals. This training addresses key concepts such as blood-borne pathogens, hazardous materials/Department of Transportation regulations, laboratory safety and global harmonization systems/labeling in the lab.
For the NIEHS Minority Worker Training Program, the HBCU Consortium with Dillard University in New Orleans, LA partnering with Texas Southern University (Houston, TX), Green Door Initiative (Detroit, MI), the Citizens for Environmental Justice (Savannah, GA), and union organizations, minority-owned training providers, and local, state, and federal agencies made great strides in reaching environmental justice communities through outreach and training. The main goals of the consortium are to: (1) build the capacity of community-based organizations and (2) provide socio-economically disadvantaged community residents 18 years of age or older with the skills needed to work with businesses and contractors involved in construction and environmental remediation. Under this program, 100 individuals were trained in New Orleans, LA; Savannah, GA; Houston, TX; and Detroit, MI. The overall placement rate for the four sites was 84 percent. The jobs included asbestos abatement worker, environmental technician, and construction/carpentry workers, with a rate of pay ranging from $9.00 to $18.00 per hour.
In addition, Dillard hosted the First Annual HBCU Climate Change Student Conference, Bridging the Gap Between Climate Change Theory and Experience on April 4 - 6, 2013. Over 100 students, faculty, staff, and environmental leaders from across the country came together to discuss the devastating effects climate change is having on vulnerable communities. The purpose of the inaugural HBCU Climate Change Student Conference was to educate minority students on climate change theory and experience as it relates to racial, social, public health, and economic disparities in the wake of weather related disasters. Nine HBCUs were represented at the conference including Dillard University, Morgan State University, Howard University, Spelman College, Southern University Baton Rouge, Texas Southern University, Tennessee State University, Florida A & M, and Meharry College. The three day conference included an undergraduate and graduate student poster session, a coastal community tour, and climate change sessions including green jobs health and safety training for middle school students from the Dillard University Emerging Scholars - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Program.
Research And Data Collection, Analysis, And Utilization Services
Through the Research and Data Collection, Analysis, and Utilization strategic element, HHS will strive to address research challenges and data deficiencies related to health and environmental justice in order to contribute to and facilitate an improved understanding of the relationship between exposure to environmental hazards and health effects. This effort aims to inform programs, policies, and interventions to eliminate health disparities associated with preventable environmental factors.
NIH Re-commitment to Addressing Asthma Disparities
In May 2013, NIH renewed its commitment to addressing asthma disparities across the United States and worldwide. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI); National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID); Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD); and NIEHS are the lead NIH institutes that support the research to understand the causes and progression of asthma and optimal treatment. Since the 2012 release of the President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children’s Coordinated Federal Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Asthma Disparities, NIH has worked alongside partner federal agencies to implement the plan’s recommendations. NIH institutes may support different aspects of asthma research, but are united in the goal to reduce the burden of asthma on low-income and minority families, especially children.
NHLBI’s clinical research network, AsthmaNet (www.asthmanetresearch.org) is comparing three different treatments for African Americans who have poorly controlled asthma to determine if patients respond better to one treatment than another and, if so, whether responses differ for children versus adults, or based on genetic makeup.
NIAID's Inner-City Asthma Consortium designs and implements immune-based therapies for asthma and conducts studies to define and treat the disease in inner-city children. ICAC is the third consecutive inner-city asthma research program funded by NIAID since 1991.
NIEHS and its partners continue to reduce children’s asthma rates in New Orleans and surrounding parishes that were severely impacted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. By offering NIH-funded, evidence-based asthma interventions to children and caretakers, the Head-Off Environmental Asthma in Louisiana study has improved asthma symptoms and conditions in children.
Environmental Health Disparities and Environmental Justice Meeting
On July 29-31, 2013, the NIEHS hosted a meeting in partnership with the EPA, NIMHD, CDC, OMH, and IHS. The meeting focused on identifying priorities for action to address environmental health disparities and environmental justice. The meeting brought together researchers, community residents, healthcare professionals, and federal partners committed to addressing EHD and EJ, in particular the grantees funded by the aforementioned agencies. For additional information see: Community Engagement:Environmental Health Disparities and Environmental Justice Meeting.
Inclusion of Work-Related Data Elements in Two National Health Surveys and Ongoing Surveillance
That National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has supported adding modules to two important national surveys conducted by CDC: the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).
In 2010, NIOSH sponsored an occupational health supplement (OHS) to be included in the NHIS for the first time since 1988. The results highlight important workplace issues, such as work organization factors, psychosocial and chemical/physical exposures, as well as common work-related health conditions. Because NHIS data are publicly available, the 2010 OHS provided a unique tool to researchers in the U.S. and across the globe to explore novel associations between occupational health topics and chronic health problems. The NHIS-OHS captures nationally representative data on the working conditions of male and female workers of all races, ethnicities, incomes, work arrangements and ages; and, who work in various industries and occupations.
Since the 2010 NHIS-OHS data have been available, it has been used to provide national prevalence estimates for several work-related conditions and potentially hazardous workplace exposures, and to guide national prioritization efforts for further research and interventions. In 2012, findings from an important article about insufficient sleep among shift workers were disseminated by several national news outlets, increasing awareness of this issue among the public.
Because of the success of this first supplement, NIOSH has dedicated funding to support this supplement to be included in the 2015 NHIS.
NIOSH is also supporting a module to collect industry and occupation data of respondents in the BRFSS for 2013 through 2016. The optional module was administered in 19 states in 2013, and is being administered in 23 states in 2014. Industry and occupational data provide important demographic information to complement behavioral information that is part of the core BRFSS. This will help us better understand the health of workers as occupation is an important social determinant of health.
CDC released the second Health Disparities and Inequalities Report – United States in November 2013. Included in this publication were two chapters on occupational outcomes: Nonfatal Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses – United States, 2010 and Fatal Work-Related Injuries – United States, 2005-2009. The first of these chapters explored demographic characteristics of those in high-risk occupations. The second examined occupational fatalities by demographic characteristics as well as by industry and occupation.
Through the Services strategic element, HHS will utilize its resources and collaborations to improve the quality of primary and behavioral health care in minority and low-income populations and Indian Tribes with disproportionately high and adverse environmental exposures. HHS will also help build community capacity to identify and address community health needs and economic development.
HHS awards Affordable Care Act Funds to Expand Access to Care
In November 2013, HHS announced $150 million in awards under the Affordable Care Act to support 236 new health center sites across the country. These investments will help care for approximately 1.25 million additional patients. Community health centers work to improve access to comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services. Community health centers play an especially important role in delivering health care services in underserved communities. Health Center New Access Point grants, listed by organization and state, are available at www.hrsa.gov/about/news/2013tables/newaccesspointawards/.
Health Impact Assessments
The CDC continues to promote use of health impact assessment (HIA) by communities, including those wishing to address environmental justice issues. Grantees of CDC’s Healthy Community Design Initiative (HCDI) have completed 36 HIAs on transportation and land use decisions. Early successes are captured in HIA Stories from the Field at http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/stories/default.htm.
The second National HIA meeting occurred in September 2013 and brought over 350 professionals together to learn about HIA. CDC provided organizational assistance.
Free, online training continues to be supported by HCDI, in partnership with the American Planning Association (APA). Over 5,000 people have taken the training, and it remains APA’s most popular on-line course (http://advance.captus.com/Planning/hia2/home.aspx. In addition, HCDI’s grantees are required to provide two training events per year. One grantee in Davidson, NC elected to organize a Southeastern Regional HIA Summit in 2013.
In addition to formal HIAs, HCDI seeks to identify methods to incorporate some of the benefits of HIA at a lower cost. Examples include the following.
CDC has developed a healthy community design checklist to help planners, public health professionals, and the general public include health in the community planning process. It was first piloted through an Atlanta MARTA transit stop area redevelopment plan. The current plans for redevelopment contain recommendations identified through the use of the checklist. HCDI partnered with APA to expand the checklist into a toolkit: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/toolkit/default.htm.
CDC has also worked with the National Park Service to develop a healthy recreation checklist. This checklist will help engage health practitioners in parks, trails, and open space planning and will be a tool to introduce the concept of HIAs to parks and trail planners, in hopes of stimulating community dialogue about the health impacts of these projects. A draft version is available at: http://www.nps.gov/ncrc/programs/rtca/helpfultools/Parks,%20Trails,%20and%20Health%20Workbook_Final%20Draft.pdf.
HCDI has developed toolkits to facilitate HIA on transportation and park decisions: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/parks_trails/default.htm, http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/transportation/hia_toolkit.htm.
Electronic Health Records
CDC’s NIOSH has initiated several activities to establish the feasibility and utility of collecting patients’ work information as part of electronic health records (EHRs). To ensure maximum utility for clinical practice and public health reporting, patient work information needs to be standardized. NIOSH defined an “Occupational Data for Health” information model and recommended and defined codes and value sets to be used by the model. To understand the challenges of collecting and standardizing work information, NIOSH funded a pilot project to collect patient’s industry and occupation information in the EHR system of a network of community health clinics serving low income residents in Los Angeles. Another funded project tested various approaches to collecting industry and occupation information through patient portals.
NIOSH also initiated several projects to show the usefulness of the collected industry and occupation data to improve clinical care and public health reporting. One project is developing clinical decision support for use in EHRs that will use the collected industry and occupation information to deliver patient specific information to clinicians to assist with diagnosis and management of health conditions caused by or impacted by work. NIOSH is collaborating with federal and state partners to promote incorporation of work information in public health reporting. This is achieved through standards that require consistency across all types of reporting to make it easier for EHR users and vendors to share and compare data across program areas. Improvements in public health reporting of occupational conditions will help address the documented underreporting of work-related conditions, especially among low-income minority and immigrant workers.
Expanding Health Disparities and Environmental Justice Concepts on the National Center for Environmental Health’s National Environmental Public Health Tracking System
During the latter part of 2013, funded partners from the Tracking Network developed and implemented a project to: 1) obtain and organize a consensus database of social determinants of health (SDoH) variables available at sub-county geographies that can be used to develop social vulnerability indices as comparative metrics to better understand health outcomes and environmental conditions among vulnerable populations; 2) develop a prototype for application of geospatial tools and analysis for assessment of health or environmental disparities at the community level; and 3) use relationships established with tracking stakeholders to vet SDoH metrics and indices and to develop messaging and outreach materials about how to use tracking tools to support investigation of health disparities at the community level. CDC will work with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to use their social vulnerability index to further the work begun by funded partners.
Administration for Native Americans (ANA) Provides Funding and Technical Assistance to Underserved Communities for Economic Development and Social Services
In 2013, ANA provided funding to support 187 new and continuing projects through its Social and Economic Development Strategies, Native Languages, and Environmental Regulatory Enhancement (ERE) programs. ANA also continues to provide free trainings and technical assistance to grantees and applicants to help with project planning and development, pre- application assistance, and project implementation. Applicants who participated in the trainings were more successful in attaining the grants. In addition, the ANA Training and Technical Assistance centers hosted monthly webinars on issues identified by the Native community, including Integrating ANA and EPA funding, environmental grantee success stories, grant writing, and strategic planning.
In September, 2013, ANA funded the following four new ERE grantees:
- Grantee: Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council, Fairbanks, Alaska
Descriptive Title: Enhancing Tribal Environmental Regulation in the Yukon River Watershed through Indigenous Knowledge and Tribal Soil & Water Conservation Districts
- Grantee: Aroostook Band of Micmacs, Presque Isle, Maine
Descriptive Title: Aroostook Band of Micmacs' Continuous Atmospheric Mercury Monitoring Project
- Grantee: Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, Dorr, Michigan
Descriptive Title: "Gde-nakwenamen nokmeskignan" Protecting Grandmother Earth through Natural Resource Protection Capacity Building
- Grantee: Lower Elwha Tribe Community Council, Port Angeles, Washington
Descriptive Title: Examining mortality patterns and population demographics of Columbian black-tailed deer to improve the regulatory ability of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe
More detail regarding recently funded ERE projects can found at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ana/resource/current-grantees-fy-2013.
Other HHS EJ Accomplishments
Addressing Environmental Justice within Prevention Programs and Policies
HHS continued to implement the National Prevention Strategy, with the goal of increasing the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life. Principles of environmental justice are reflected throughout the National Prevention Strategy, particularly within the Strategic Directions on Healthy & Safe Community Environments and Elimination of Health Disparities. Additionally, by supporting collaboration to improve health and eliminate health disparities across 20 federal departments (including Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Education, and Labor, among others), the National Prevention Council supports Goal 3 of the 2012 HHS EJ Strategy (“Support and advance a “health in all policies” approach that protects and promotes the health and well‐being of minority and low‐income populations and Indian Tribes with disproportionately high and adverse environmental exposures”).
The Council’s 2013 Annual Status Report outlined federal actions to implement the National Prevention Strategy and announced the addition of the three federal departments (Department of Interior, General Services Administration, and Office of Personnel Management) to the Council. The National Prevention Council continues to engage partners from all sectors to support the recommendations from the National Prevention Strategy.
Regional HHS EJ Collaborations
Healthier Housing and Environments
In 2013, the Region V Deputy Regional Health Administrator spoke to over 75 EPA and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grantees on the many steps that they can take with their environment and housing grants to build healthier communities via Let’s Move resources and the Building a Healthier Chicago (BHC) model. BHC is an emerging nonprofit dedicated to effectively improving the health of the Chicagoland area. Originally co-founded by the American Medical Association, the City of Chicago Department of Public Health, and HHS /Region V, Building a Healthier Chicago has successfully developed and expanded its city-wide partnerships and currently consists of hundreds of local and national stakeholders. Region V staff also worked with several parties to further smoke free housing communities.
HUD/HHS/EPA Collaboration on Insurance Coverage for Non-Clinical Asthma Interventions
HHS continued its collaboration with HUD and EPA to promote sustainable coverage for non-clinical asthma interventions. The second of a series of regional meetings was held in Kansas City, MO (Region VII) in June 2013. The meeting brought together HHS, HUD, and EPA Regional staff, state health department leaders, insurers, health providers, and community leaders to discuss strategies for supporting residential asthma interventions in the region. Participants intend to continue collaborations after the meeting. The three agencies will work with other regions in 2014.