The overarching goals of the Community Action to Promote Healthy Environments (CAPHE) partnership, established in 2014, are to: (1) develop new knowledge on local community-prioritized air pollutants; (2) implement components of our scientifically-grounded community-informed Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) to reduce exposure and improve health; (3) expand community engagement in environmental health research and action; and (4) evaluate the process and impact of these collaborative efforts. Building on long-standing community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnerships engaging community-based organizations (CBOs), local and state governments, and academic partners, CAPHE conducted collaborative research, training, education and outreach on air pollution, an environmental priority of the Detroit community, and health impacts. We documented air pollutant levels, sources and distribution, quantified health impacts and inequities, identified mitigation strategies, and projected health benefits of selected strategies. Our PHAP detailed 25 scientifically based community-prioritized recommendations and action strategies to reduce pollutant exposure and adverse health effects. CAPHE partners, leading advocates for air quality and health in Detroit, are working to implement prioritized recommendations. This renewal application, CAPHE: Advancing Air Quality and Health, will substantially expand the scope and impact of our successful research-to-action partnership through four aims: (1) increase knowledge of environmental exposures and associated health impacts by establishing a community-based ambient monitoring network and data portal for key air pollutants (PM2.5, PM10, organic carbon, black carbon); (2) improve indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in schools and other child-serving organizations located near major roads and industrial sites with high levels of cumulative risk, using advanced air filtration practices and other strategies; (3) engage youth, educators, parents, CBOs and business leaders in air quality research and translation, increasing environmental health literacy, access to resources, and skills working with decision makers; and (4) increase effectiveness, engagement and impact of actions in Specific Aims 1-3 using ongoing formative process and impact/outcome evaluation. The proposed project will be implemented by a team that includes five Detroit CBOs with extensive records of environmental leadership, five academic researchers with complementary expertise, and experienced state and local government partners. CAPHE has a strong history of CBPR, experience in air quality monitoring, data interpretation, and impact analysis (Aim 1); IEQ improvements (Aim 2); community engagement and translation of research to action (Aim 3); and process and impact evaluation to maximize engagement and effectiveness (Aim 4). This research-to-action proposal addresses community priorities of air quality and children's health using linked, collaborative activities that will reduce exposure and adverse health effects and support sustained engagement. Results have will be useful for communities globally that experience high cumulative risk.

Public Health Relevance

Academic researchers, community-based organizations, health care providers, and state and local government officials will work together to implement recommendations from a scientifically-grounded, community-informed Public Health Action Plan to reduce air pollution and its adverse health effects, and strengthen and support sustained, equitable and effective community engagement in translation of research to action to promote environmental public health. Poor environmental quality and associated health impacts are social and environmental justice issues in Michigan and elsewhere. This project aims to enhance health and environmental equity.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1)
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O'Fallon, Liam
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Schools of Public Health
Ann Arbor
United States
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