Outreach and engagement

The UNC-CEHS Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) enhances the environmental health literacy of public health professionals, community health workers and vulnerable populations, by increasing their understanding of the Center’s environmental health sciences research and empowering them to make informed decisions to reduce harmful environmental exposures in homes and communities. The COEC also fosters dialogue between UNC-CEHS researchers and community partners about Center research to inform responsive research approaches and strategies for communicating CEHS science to community audiences.

Asthma

sodabottlelung

Middle school children participate in soda bottle lung activity to learn about asthma

More than 1 million North Carolina adult and youth residents have been diagnosed with asthma. It is the most common chronic disease among children causing school absences.

Through collaboration with members of the UNC-CEHS Cardiopulmonary Disease Research Focus Area and the Stakeholder Advisory Board, the COEC provides module materials, activities, and trainings to inform public health professionals and the public about air pollution and health.

asthma allergies and air quality

Asthma module materials

Environmental Asthma Triggers
A 3-hour training that provides information on indoor and outdoor exposures that exacerbate asthma and allergies and strategies for health professionals to communicate with their patients about eliminating or reducing those exposures. Educational materials can be used with populations of varying literacy levels to help them understand current environmental health research about asthma and allergies and its implications for their daily lives.

 

Additional resources

Breast cancer

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Pittsboro Cooperative Extension members participate in Breast Cancer Bingo

More than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the United States. As the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women, this disease takes 40,000 lives annually.

In collaboration with members of the UNC-CEHS Environmental Cancer Research Focus Area and the Stakeholder Advisory Board, the COEC has developed tools to inform women about breast cancer risk and ways to reduce risk.

breast cancer module

Breast cancer module materials

Breast cancer module materials that provide hands-on activities and educational resources about genetic and environmental influences on breast cancer.

 

 

 

Additional resources

Healthy Homes and Lead Exposure

A family learns about Healthy Homes at the Catawba Indian Nation Health Fair

Approximately two-thirds of U.S. families live in a home with at least one health hazard. This problem is compounded with most small children spending 70% of their day inside their homes.

The COEC works with the UNC-CEHS Cardiopulmonary Disease and Developmental Disease Research Focus Areas, as well as national and state health and housing agencies, to develop and provide trainings that inform professionals and the public about hazards that exist in homes.

5 steps to a hh

Healthy Homes module materials

5 Steps to a Healthy Home
A 2-hour training that prepares health professionals, childcare providers, and parents to identify and provide solutions for addressing environmental health hazards in the home. The training includes information on addressing lead, pests and pesticides, mold and moisture, indoor air pollution, and home safety. This training is especially appropriate for professionals who conduct home visits.

Get the Lead Out! Sources and Solutions for Childhood Lead Poisoning 
A 2.5-hour training that prepares health professionals to address childhood lead poisoning in their communities. The session includes information on sources of lead in the home and school and child care environments and solutions for reducing lead in these settings. Participants will be briefed on state and federal policies, such as the CDC Guidelines on Lead and Pregnancy, and other resources that will help them serve vulnerable populations.

In addition, the COEC partnered with Morehead Planetarium and Science Center to develop the curriculum for “Our Air, Our Water, Our Homes,” for the 2013 SciVentures summer camp. Participants in this week-long summer camp learned about the spread of contaminants in communities and homes and ways to prevent them through hands-on activities and experiences.

Additional resources

Skin cancer

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, with more than two million people diagnosed each year.

With supplemental funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the COEC staff partnered with investigators in the UNC-CEHS Environmental Cancer Research Focus Area and community partners to develop resources aimed at informing the public about risk factors for skin cancer and steps for reducing risk.

sc webinar

Childhood Sun Damage and Melanoma Risk

A one-hour webinar titled “Childhood Sun Damage and Melanoma Risk: Understanding the Environmental Health Research and Clinical Application” in which a cancer researcher, Dr. Bill Kaufmann, and a pediatric dermatologist, Dr. Diana McShane, discuss the latest research on childhood sun damage, melanoma risk, and how this research can be applied in clinical and educational settings to protect children and youth from this disease into their adulthood.

skin cancer and sun safety

Skin Cancer and Sun Safety module materials

Skin cancer and sun safety module resources aimed at building the capacity of public health professionals, school nurses and childcare providers to educate community audiences about skin cancer risk and sun safety techniques.

In addition, the COEC partnered with Morehead Planetarium and Science Center to develop the curriculum for “Journey Inside the Cell,” for the 2014 SciVentures summer camp. Participants in this week-long summer camp learned about the hidden lives of cells through hands-on learning experiences.

Additional resources

Director:
Kathleen Gray, MSPH; Environmental Resource Program, UNC Institute for the Environment
Email: kathleen_gray@unc.edu Phone: (919) 966-9799

Personnel:
Neasha Graves, MPA; Environmental Resource Program, UNC Institute for the Environment
Email: neasha_graves@unc.edu Phone: (919) 966-3746

Dana Haine, MS; Environmental Resource Program, UNC Institute for the Environment
Email: dhaine@email.unc.edu Phone: (919) 843-5735

Megan Hoert Hughes, MEM; Environmental Resource Program, UNC Institute for the Environment
Email: meganhughes@unc.edu Phone: (919) 966-2463

Megan Rodgers, BS; Environmental Resource Program, UNC Institute for the Environment

Email: merodgers@unc.edu Phone: (919) 966-7238