Racial and socioeconomic disparities of minorities living near hazardous waste sites have historically and continue to raise health concerns regarding the disproportionate impact of probable and potential exposures to toxic substances emitted from these sites. The Institute of Medicine produced a report that made recommendations on the research, clinical, and educational needs required to achieve environmental justice. One of the key gaps is the lack of knowledge regarding the toxicology and health impact of environmental contaminants amongst the health professional community and the lay community. In the state of Florida, there is indeed a need to plan, develop, and implement more local site specific environmental health educational and toxicology research programs that address the health impact of local sources of contamination. Beginning in the 20th century until the 1960s, Jacksonville burned its solid waste in incinerators producing deposited ash that resulted in a myriad of health concerns for residents, particular concerns include contamination by lead, arsenic, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and dioxins. Four of these ash sites were of public concern and deemed a public health hazard due to the unacceptable levels of heavy metals in surface soil and vegetables on or near residences, playgrounds, parks and schools. The ash sites are in a predominantly African American community that comprises a health zone with excess chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, as well as low birth weight, homicides, HIV, STDs, and emergency room visits. The proposed project, Jacksonville Racial and Ethnic Environmental Approaches to Community Health (REEACH): An Environmental Health and Toxicology Training Program, is a partnership between Florida A&M University, Florida Department of Health, Duval County Health Department, University of Florida-Shands, and the North Riverside Development Corporation. The Program will (1) train local health care providers and health professions students in environmental health, toxicology, and environmental medicine through training modules, rotations, and case studies;(2) increase community knowledge of environmental health and toxicology through the development and implementation of a site-specific toxicology curriculum (train-the-trainer approach);(3) increase applied community environmental health opportunities by providing community-based student internships;and (4) pilot a translational research project involving modeling and environmental health tracking to link environmental exposures to specific adverse health outcomes. The information and products of this program will be shared and disseminated widely. Process and outcome evaluations to determine program effectiveness will also be conducted. Relevance - The methods and desired outcome of the Program are relevant to public health by producing environmentally and culturally competent public health professionals, an informed and educated lay community, and enhanced training of local public health and environmental specialists in cutting edge technology that help inform the link between environmental exposures and human health in the north and urban core areas of Jacksonville, Florida
Relevance - The methods and desired outcome of the Program are relevant to public health by producing environmentally and culturally competent public health professionals, an informed and educated lay community, and enhanced training of local public health and environmental specialists in cutting edge technology that help inform the link between environmental exposures and human health in the north and urban core areas of Jacksonville, Florida.