We did it! The Center of Excellence for Environmental Health Equity P50 grant application was submitted to the NIH on November 22nd, 2019. This was a major undertaking involving >60 investigators, partners, and advisors. The proposal is based on an approach that centralizes community engagement and the formation of trusting research partnerships as the catalyst for eliminating environmental health disparities. Additionally, our plan prioritizes training the next generation of environmental health equity researchers from NIH-designated health disparity populations.
A brief summary of our application:
The Cleveland Center of Excellence in Environmental Health Equity will be established at Case Western Reserve University, working in collaboration with clinical, community, and academic partners, to foster multidisciplinary and community-engaged research and research capacity building for new investigators focused on understanding and eliminating environmental health disparities. The Center’s thematic focus is on the accumulation of neighborhood-level environmental exposures influencing the air we breathe and its connection to community health—with a focus on child health. Using a community-engaged, contextualized, and solutions-oriented approach, the central goal is to use the Center of Excellence infrastructure to establish the evidence base for an applied and scalable implementation model to target and tailor neighborhood-level interventions where they are most needed to reduce asthma disparities and realize co-benefits among children living in asthma hot spots. This will be accomplished through the following Cores over the five-year grant cycle from 2020-25.
We have a lot to do, but the evidence is strong for moving to a neighborhood-level approach to eliminate disparities in child asthma. In the New Year, we will create an action plan for bringing to life the components of the P50 proposal. We will hear more about the status of our application by late spring 2020. Regardless, the Swetland Center is committed to furthering the aims and goals of this proposal working in partnership with our key stakeholders. We have pilot funding available to kick off at least one component of this P50 plan beginning in 2020.
Many thanks to our hard-working team who made this application possible:
Administrative Core (Lead: Freedman): Cultivate an adaptive learning culture that brings together diverse skills and experiences to support transformative research, training and education, and community engagement to promote environmental health equity.
Community Engagement & Dissemination Core (Leads: Mulloy, Sommer): Foster authentic community engagement to develop credible and relevant science on the link between physical, built, and social environmental exposures within neighborhoods and health equity, and translate and disseminate these findings into sustainable neighborhood and system-level strategies to eliminate environmental health disparities locally and beyond.
Investigator Development Core (Leads: Stange, King): Incubate innovative and impactful team science research projects conducted in partnership with organizational and community partners to advance environmental health equity through a comprehensive training and pilot program for emerging investigators from health disparity populations.
Research project 1 (Leads: Coulton, Curtis): Establish and validate the Cleveland Child Asthma Health Equity Registry and Portal (CHERP), a near real-time data system that combines existing health, contextual, and social "big data" system with fine scale ethnographic, sensor data, and citizen science to identify geographically varying and modifiable environmental factors contributing to child asthma exacerbations and use this information to target action.
Research project 2 (Leads: Ross, Bole): Develop, implement, and evaluate a neighborhood-based and action oriented system improvement process to target and tailor neighborhood-level interventions designed to mitigate the relationship between accumulation of environmental exposures and population risk for disparities in child asthma exacerbations.