The primary goal of the proposed program is to increase awareness in health care professionals and community members regarding the impact of the environment on health. Although the program will focus on issues relevant to the Texas-Mexico border region, educational opportunities will be made available to interested stakeholders nation-wide. To accomplish the overall goal of the program, the educational and research activities have five specific aims. These include (1) administer training to future health care professionals, medical and public health students, to improve their understanding regarding the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders having an etiology related to exposure to hazardous substances;(2) provide continuing medical education to nurses and physicians regarding the impact of genetics, the environment and nutrition on health;(3) develop and deliver health education modules to families living in rural colonias near Laredo and communities adjacent to Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio;(4) monitor biomarkers of exposure to DDT and other chlorinated pesticides in families living in rural colonias near Laredo and communities adjacent to Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio;and, (5) assess the efficacy of activities conducted in Aims 1-3 for improving knowledge and modifying behaviors. The program will collaborate with community residents, local health care professionals and several Colleges of Medicine to develop a strategy to improve environmental health in two underserved minority populations in the State of Texas. Health education materials will be delivered by lay health workers through house visits. Training through the STEER program will be made available to health care students nation-wide. Environmental health modules and case studies will be developed for the program and delivered through both on-site and on-line lectures. In addition, a train-the-trainer workshop will be held annually to train 20 medical faculty who will agree to provide training to a minimum of 10 additional health care professionals. The program builds on the extensive experience of the Texas A&M and University of Texas Health Science Center programs.

Public Health Relevance

Statement: The proposed study integrates environmental health education and research with a goal of increasing awareness among several groups of stakeholders. Educational materials will be delivered to health professionals, community residents and students (at multiple levels). In addition, environmental and biomarker studies will be conducted to evaluate exposure to organochlorine pesticides and chlorinated dioxins in target communities.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZTS1-FXR (01))
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Mehta, Paul
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Texas A&M University
College Station
United States
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