Community Outreach and Education Program (COEP) at the NIEHS Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan: The basis for conducting scientifically valid, socially relevant research

Mary Northridge, Patrick L. Kinney, Ginger L. Chew, Peggy Shepard, Cecil Corbin-Mark B, Joseph Graziano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Here we describe the Community Outreach and Education Program (COEP) at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Center at the Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, New York City. Originally founded as an NIEHS P20 Developmental Center to address issues of environmental racism in Harlem, the NIEHS Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan is now beginning its third year of funding as a full P30 Center (the Center). Over the past 4 years, both the Center and its COEP have benefited from increased attention being paid to legitimate community-university partnerships, broad-based efforts to address racial and ethnic disparities in health, and renewed concern about the urban environment. A key feature of our COEP model is that the resources and staff reside in a community-based organization, namely, West Harlem Environmental Action (WE ACT). This institutional decision has been critical in advancing the Center's ultimate goal of improving the health and environment of northern Manhattan. Towards this end, the Center conducts timely and relevant research that informs public policy. To illustrate our COEP model, we highlight here the Center's research and activities around diesel exhaust, indoor allergens and asthma. It is our contention that COEP activities are the basis for conducting scientifically valid, socially relevant research. We further argue that the science we conduct is fundamentally strengthened by the integration of the COEP into the Center's research culture and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-150
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Epidemiology and Toxicology
Volume2
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Apr 2000

Keywords

  • Community health
  • Environment
  • Health education
  • Outreach
  • Racism
  • Urban health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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