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UK-SRP RTC Presents on Community Engagement in Superfund Communities at Joint NIEHS-EPA-Chaired SETAC Session

(November 2010) - Personnel from the UK-SRP Research Translation Core conducted a presentation entitled "Identifying the Relationship Between Citizen Values & Environmental Health: Using Community-Based Participatory Communication in Superfund Communities" at the 2010 Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Annual North American Meeting. The presentation was conducted during the "Communities, Ecology, and Health: Making the Connection" session. The session was included in the Risk Management, Remediation, and Science Policy track and was jointly organized and chaired by Heather Henry and Beth Anderson of NIEHS, Maureen Avakian of MDB, Inc., and Charles Maurice of US EPA.

The UK-SRP presentation argueed for the use of Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) to further the engagement and environmental justice work of numerous federal agencies, including the US EPA and NIEHS. CBPC methodologies view communication as a dialogic process for exchanging views and involving community members in the discussion of issues that affect their lives. Using both traditional and modern forms of communication and organization, CBPC protects tradition and cultural values while facilitating the integration of new elements, creating an environment that empowers individuals and groups. CBPC emphasizes the building of trust and rapport among all parties toward truly collaborative decision-making processes to achieve outcomes that resonate with community values, culture and perspectives.

Anna Goodman Hoover presented a case study of UK-SRP RTC work with a National Priority List Superfund community in west Kentucky to illustrate the potential value of CBPC for addressing Superfund issues. The presentation was co-authored by Dr. Lindell Ormsbee, RTC core leader, and by Dr. Chike Anyaegbunam of the UK College of Communications and Information Studies and chair of UK's Dissemination and Implementation Science Consortium. Hoover also participated in a closing panel discussion featuring speakers from the day-long session.