Client(s): Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Services: Health Communication, Training & Technical Assistance
Technical Expertise: Environmental Health, Health Disparities, Maternal and Child Health, Community Health Coalitions
Latino children in Lawrence, Massachusetts have high rates of pediatric asthma and lead poisoning from exposures in their home environments. The JSI Center for Environmental Health Studies, in collaboration with the Centro de Apoyo Familiar (CAF) and the Asociación de Ministros Evangélicos de Lawrence (AMEDAL) hired and trained 10 Promotoras (health promoters) to conduct training in churches utilizing low literacy flyers, brochures, videos, and other educational material in Spanish and Creole to help residents identify and reduce exposures that affect children's health. Each training included discussion and information sharing among participants that solidified knowledge gains and provided residents with tools to assess exposures in their homes and take action to reduce their effects. Training topics included lead poisoning prevention, reducing asthma triggers such as mold, second hand smoke, pet dander, and cockroaches, spiritual and superstitious use of mercury, and household chemicals. Utilizing churches as a training venue allowed JSI and CAF to engage over 500 people in a culturally familiar location among a hard-to-reach population. The project received special recognition by the EPA.