The overall goal of the CTEHR Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) is to engage target audiences in bidirectional communication that both incorporates community concerns and translates EHS research. Using tailored approaches, COEC will open lines of communication between the general public, at risk communities, opinions leaders and policy makers and the members, Cores and Programs of the Center, to effectively communicate about environmental health issues. COEC will leverage CTEHR expertise in the Thematic Focus areas in Early Life Exposures, Microbiome, Metabolism, Chronic Disease and Enabling Technologies research by integrating contributions of Center members in community engagement activities and programs. Outreach programs will be designed to enhance scientific literacy, convey EHS research results and increase the capacity of communities and policy makers to make informed decisions and take effective action to mitigate adverse environmental exposures and reduce disease risks. As part of this effort, COEC will also conduct activities to enhance recruitment and training of the next, diverse generation of EHS scientists, physicians and public health professionals. In conjunction with the Career Development Program, the COEC will develop programs that engage opinion leaders within the educational system and stimulate interest in, and preparation for, these EHS careers.
The Specific Aims of the COEC are:
Aim 1. Develop and disseminate educational content for the general public that translates EHS research, enhances scientific literacy and communicates risks and strategies for prevention of environmental disease.
Aim 2. Engage local underserved communities and their opinion leaders to identify environmental concerns and collaboratively develop and implement responsive programs to address them.
Aim 3. Implement and continue activities aimed at recruiting the next, diverse generation of EHS researchers, physicians and public health professionals.
Aim 4. Develop educational outreach programs that translate EHS research findings to local, state and regional policy makers to inform the development and implementation of environmental policy.
Aim 5. Evaluate all activities at formative and summative levels to determine effectiveness and impact. The COEC plays a central role in the mission of the CTEHR by providing a bi-directional conduit of information, allowing assimilation of community concerns and responsive development of activities that promote scientific literacy, enhance community capacity to affect change, encourage careers in EHS, and foster improved understanding of the effects of environmental exposures over the course of the lifetime and in susceptible populations.
Program Narrative - Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) COEC activities are highly relevant to public health because they will translate EHS research results to enhance scientific literacy and enable communities, residents and policy makers and to make informed decisions about mitigating adverse environmental exposures and their effects on human health. The COEC will foster bidirectional communication between the Center members, Cores and Programs and target audiences to incorporate community concerns into the design and scope of EHS research, and increase capacity of communities to utilize research results to effectively address these issues.
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