Outreach and engagement
As the public outreach arm of the UNC-Chapel Hill Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility, the Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) translates Center research into knowledge that can be used to improve public health across North Carolina and the United States. The COEC also actively strives to build its capacity to educate the community about how individual and group susceptibilities interact with environmental factors to cause disease.
More than 1 million North Carolina adult and youth residents have been diagnosed with asthma. It is the most common chronic disease among children and a primary reason for school absences.
Through collaboration with members of the CEHS Pulmonary Disease research group and the Stakeholder Advisory Board, the COEC provides the following trainings and PSAs to inform public health professionals and the public about air pollution and health:
An interactive workshop that features hands-on activities and educational materials about air quality and health, available in the following formats:
- A 1- to 2-hour workshop for community audiences that explores the connection between asthma, allergies and air quality.
- A 3-hour train-the-trainer session for public health professionals, which provides activities and materials that can be used with patients addressing asthma.
An asthma awareness public service announcement (PSA) produced by the CEHS Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) and the UNC School of Journalism.
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 CEHS Environmental Cancer research group and the Stakeholder Advisory Board, the COEC has developed the following tools to inform women about breast cancer risk and ways to reduce risk:
A 1- to 2-hour interactive workshop that provides hands-on activities and educational materials about genetic and environmental influences on breast cancer.
A web site that highlights African American women’s breast cancer risk by leading women through a series of questions about breast cancer risk and suggesting preventive measures. It also includes videos of younger African American women discussing breast cancer and is a joint effort with the UNC Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP).
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 CEHS Pulmonary Disease and Metals-Induced research groups, as well as national and state health and housing agencies, to develop and provide the following trainings that inform professionals and the public about hazards that exist in homes:
- A 2-hour interactive workshop for community audiences that gives an overview of hazards in homes that affect human health.
- A 3-hour train-the-trainer session for health and housing professionals that prepares them to conduct outreach with community audiences about common health hazards that exist in homes.
- A 7-hour training, certified by the National Center for Healthy Housing, which informs community health workers who make home visits and provide advice to residents about hazards that exist in their homes.
The rate of obesity in the U.S. has tripled in the past 30 years, and there are more than 300,000 obesity-related deaths each year.
The COEC collaborates with investigators in the CEHS Obesity research group and our community partners to develop and provide the following trainings about genetic and environmental influences upon obesity and steps they can take to prevent it:
- A 1- to 2-hour interactive workshop for community audiences, which includes hands-on activities and educational materials that explain obesity risk and suggest preventive measures.
- A 3-hour train-the-trainer session that provides presentation slides, lessons for hands-on activities, and educational materials for public health professionals and informal educators who work with youth and/or adult community audiences.
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, with more than two million people diagnosed each year.
COEC staff work with investigators in the CEHS Environmental Cancer research group and community partners to develop educational materials and conduct the following outreach activities, aimed at informing the public about risk factors for skin cancer and steps for reducing risk:
A 1- to 2-hour train-the-trainer session, conducted by CEHS researchers and COEC staff, which builds the capacity of public health professionals, school nurses and childcare providers to educate community audiences about skin cancer risk and sun safety techniques.
A public service announcement (PSA) that highlights steps people of all backgrounds should take to reduce exposure to UV radiation and their risk for skin cancer.
Kathleen Gray, MSPH; Environmental Resource Program, UNC Institute for the Environment
Email: email@example.com Phone: (919) 966-9799
Neasha Graves, MPA; Environmental Resource Program, UNC Institute for the Environment
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (919) 966-3746
Megan Hoert Hughes, MEM; Environmental Resource Program, UNC Institute for the Environment
Email: email@example.com Phone: (919) 966-2463
Kelly Robinson, BA; Environmental Resource Program, UNC Institute for the Environment
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (919) 966-7238
Funded by NIEHS Grant # P30 ES010126