The NIH/National Institute on Environment Health Sciences showcased the work of Professor Linda Sprague Martinez and partners in “Academic-Community Partnership Informs Policy and Practice to Reduce Air Pollution Exposure,” a story highlighting the Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health Study (CAFEH) partnership.
Excerpt from “Academic-Community Partnership Informs Policy and Practice to Reduce Air Pollution Exposure” (Partnerships for Environmental Public Health):
Community outreach and engagement are key components of translating research into action. One academic-community partnership that was created to address the health effects of traffic-related air pollution has had significant impacts on community development projects since its initiation in 2008. It has improved indoor air filtration in building design and supported the development of policies to lessen resident exposure to traffic-related air pollution.
The partnership, the Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health Study (CAFEH), initially funded by a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences grant, studied air pollutants and cardiovascular disease risk among residents in Boston’s Chinatown and neighboring Somerville, two environmental justice communities with high levels of traffic-related air pollution. CAFEH now serves as an umbrella for multiple community-based participatory and community engaged research studies focused on air pollution and provides policy advice to various stakeholders. Three recent papers describe how the partnership provides a promising strategy to translate research into practice, the strategies used to engage community stakeholders, and how negative health effects of traffic-related air pollution were mitigated…
‘No surprise, we have learned that working with community partners is the key to research translation. Our partners have a nuanced understanding of the local landscape, including political dynamics, resident priorities, and developer concerns. Working together we have been able to get the research findings to the right people in a meaningful way,’ noted Linda Sprague Martinez, Ph.D., a researcher from Boston University School of Social Work.”