Help for Appalachian Communities

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences within NIH has an ongoing program called “Research to Action” to bring community members and health researchers together to investigate the potential health risks of environmental and occupation exposures.

One of the projects titled “Community-Engaged Research and Action to Reduce Respiratory Disease in Appalachia” is studying Kentucky Appalachian communities via their academic grantee partner the University of Kentucky.

Adults in Appalachian Kentucky are 50 percent more likely to develop asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) than people living elsewhere in the U.S. The project aims to reduce respiratory health disparities in Kentucky’s Appalachian communities by using the expertise of long standing community academic partnerships.

Researchers are going to conduct a community-based assessment to understand the environmental, social, and behavioral factors that may account for this health inequity.  Project partners will collaboratively develop innovative approaches to improve respiratory health. They will also create a community-endorsed environment public health action strategy for reducing respiratory health inequalities in the region.

The project will entail data collection and translation of the research into public health actions. The involvement of communities in both data collection and translation will play an important role in the success of this initiative. has  more information or email Symma Finn PhD at or Steven Browning PhD at the University of Kentucky at





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